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NIGER: Three-day national mourning underway for killed soldiers

Niger began three days of national mourning Tuesday after 29 soldiers were killed in a suspected jihadist attack, the deadliest since the military took power in July.

The latest violence comes as the country’s coup leaders indicated they were considering neighbouring Algeria’s offer to mediate talks for a transition back to civilian rule.

Niger is battling two jihadist insurgencies — a spillover in its southeast from a long-running conflict in neighbouring Nigeria, and an offensive in the west by militants crossing from Mali and Burkina Faso.

When military leaders overthrew democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, they cited the deterioration of the security situation in the country as justification.

Monday’s attack in western Niger involved “improvised explosive devices and kamikaze vehicles by more than a hundred terrorists”, the Ministry of Defence said in a televised statement.

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