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Niger honors slain soldiers

President Mahamadou Issoufou pays tribute to fallen troops of Daesh/ISIS attack

Niger honors slain soldiers

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda

Scores of Niger’s slain soldiers received military honors Friday in the capital of Niamey as a three-day national mourning began.

President Mahamadou Issoufou paid tribute to 71 slain soldiers at Air Force Base 101 before offering condolences to their families on behalf of the entire nation, according to the news website.

The bodies draped in orange, white and green colors of the national flag were then transported to Niamey's main cemetery.

Issoufou declared a three-day period of national mourning, beginning Friday during which all sports and cultural competitions were put on hold.

The soldiers were killed when suspected Daesh/ISIS militants attacked a military camp Tuesday in the village of Inates near the western border with Mali. Twelve were wounded.

The Daesh/ISIS group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group’s fighters held the camp for several hours and seized a large cache of weapons and ammunition, a statement said from the military.

It added that jihadists took 16 vehicles and set the camp on fire before leaving.

Reports indicated Issoufou summoned his counterparts of the G5 Sahel countries, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania, for an emergency meeting Dec. 15 in Niamey on the security situation.

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