Baku-APA. At least 40 people were killed and several others injured Wednesday night when suspected Boko Haram militants attacked Niger's southeast Diffa region, according to sources in the regional military alliance, the Multi National Joint Task Force.
"In yet another daring cross border attack on Wednesday, the terrorists attacked two border villages in Diffa region," a Nigerian military officer serving in the alliance told Anadolu Agency, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
"They used suicide bombers in the attack, followed by sporadic gunshots," he said on condition of anonymity, as he had no authority to speak to the media.
A member of a local Nigerian vigilante group in Bosso, a Nigerian border town only a few kilometers away from the Diffa region, confirmed the attack.
"The attack appeared to be some sort of tit-for-tat because just yesterday the Chadian army bombed some Nigerian villages, obviously in retaliation for some suicide attacks on its towns two days ago," Audu Alaram, a member of the local vigilante group, told Anadolu Agency by phone from Bosso.
"Yesterday night, the terrorists led two bombers and struck in the Diffa region attack and killed close to 40 people, according to information from the military," he said.
Boko Haram had until recently restricted its violent campaign to Nigerian towns.
Following complaints by Nigeria that militants were hiding in neighboring countries from which they launched cross border raids, the militants soon faced mounting pressure from troops from neighboring armies who pushed them back.
This has apparently led to recent attacks on villages in Cameroon, Chad and Niger - all of which have recently joined forces with Nigeria to crush the group.
In video footage released early this year, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau warned leaders of neighboring countries not to help Nigeria in the fight against the group, threatening attacks on their soil if they supported the Nigerian government.
Analysts suggest that Boko Haram’s recent pledge of allegiance to Daesh, which saw the Nigerian group change its name to Islamic State in the West Africa Province, could be at the roots of its recent cross border raids across the region.