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Another ghastly terror attack in Niger is a warning to the world: Africa is becoming the next terror hub

Terror attack in Niger

In another terror attack, 15 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger, in West Africa. The incident sends out a strong warning not just to Africa but the world that terror outfits are gaining momentum in the continent.

Niger’s defence ministry blamed armed terrorist groups for ghastly attack.

The ministry said that the assailants ambushed a supply mission at 1100 local time in Torodi commune after which soldiers evacuating the wounded hit an improvised explosive, Reuters said.

"We regret that unfortunately 15 soldiers were killed, seven were wounded and six are missing," the news agency quoted the ministry as saying.

According to Reuters, suspected Islamic State fighters killed at least 100 civilians on January 2 in raids on two villages in western Tillabery region and at least 137 people in coordinated raids in March in neighbouring Tahoua region – among the deadliest attacks in recent memory.

Also read: By pulling out troops, is France handing over Africa to China and the Islamic State?

Such terror attacks could only increase, several experts have said. Reason?

The French military mission — Operation Barkhane—that was present in the region since 2013 with the aim of keeping off the Islamic terror outfits and local militant groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) is coming to an end.

Niger is part of the Sahel group of countries. Sahel, a semi-arid region in West Africa separating the Sahara Desert to the north and tropical savannas to the south, also includes a group of countries which have come together to focus on issues related to economic development and security.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the current over 5,000-member Barkhane force would be reduced in a phased manner in the Sahel after eight years of helping local forces stave off the threat from armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS),” Al Jazeera reported.

West Africa is home to natural resources including minerals and natural gas. It is not only rich in bauxite, uranium, crude petroleum, bauxite, diamond, manganese, aluminium, iron ore, natural gas among other things the region has gold, limestone and clay too.