On Sunday 8th, Boko Haram launched two simultaneous pre-dawn offensives on Diffa – a town located in South-Eastern Niger. The attack has in effect widened the range and scope of the Islamist insurgency while also destabilizing the affected nations. The attacks comes a day prior to Niger’s legislature voting on whether the nation should join the regional counter-terrorism offensive against the Nigeria-based Sunni Jihadist group. The government has expressed hopes that the parliament will approve its request to join the offensive.
The terrorists crossed Komadougou Yobe River, breached the border defense and advanced towards Diffa town where they engaged the Nigerien security forces positioned at the Southeastern edge of the town in a fierce battle that lasted two and a half hours. Intelligence sources have reported that heavy weapons were deployed and used during the predawn battle thereby causing substantial damage to the town, adjacent settlements and its related infrastructures. The terrorists were finally pushed out of the town after Chadian troops reinforced their Nigerien counterparts.
Hours later, Boko Haram deployed a female suicide bomber to Diffa’s central market where she detonated her explosives in so doing killing herself and a child, and injuring over 20 people. The authorities have imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on Diffa town and Chad has deployed more than 2000 troops in its Southern border with Niger as a preemptive measure to preempt a possible border breach by Boko Haram.
Boko Haram jihadist insurgency has destabilized North-Eastern Nigeria where the jihadists have seized huge swathes of lands after dislodging the Nigerian security forces. The insurgency has spread to affect neighboring nations including Niger, Cameroon, Benin and Chad thus compelling the regional nations to establish a regional force made up of 8,700 troops.