Nearly 1,400 followers of jihadist group Boko Haram have been intercepted fleeing into Niger following clashes with a rival Islamic State group, according to the army.
The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP)'s pursuit of Boko Haram in its forest stronghold of Sambisa, northeastern Niger, sparked the flight into southeastern Niger in March.
According to a statement from the army's southeastern zone that AFP was able to get, the military forces of Niger have so far apprehended 1,397 people, many of them women and children.
According to the statement, they have been turned up to the military authorities in Nigeria.
It stated that "about 30 terrorists" were slain for refusing to give themselves up.
According to UN statistics, Boko Haram initiated a murderous campaign in northeastern Nigeria in 2009 that resulted in the deaths of over 40,000 people and the displacement of two million people from their homes.
It became globally notorious in 2014 for abducting 276 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok, 96 of whom remain missing.
Boko Haram followers were attempting to reach the marshlands of the enormous Lake Chad region, whose islands have traditionally served as a haven for jihadists.
The movement was first spotted on March 7, as people walked along the Kamadougou Yoge River marking the border between the two countries
According to the army, six days later, Nigerien forces in a regional anti-jihadist task group launched an operation that killed 20 jihadists and captured 83 others.
A security source told AFP that the southern region of Diffa, which has been the target of Islamist assaults in the past, has been relatively tranquil since the beginning of 2023.
However, landmines sown by rebels continue to claim lives. Last month, seven soldiers died and nearly a dozen were wounded in blasts.
Niger is also facing a jihadist insurgency on its southwestern border with Mali.
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