Two soldiers were killed and five others wounded in a "terrorist" attack in southwest Niger, a region that until recently had been spared jihadist raids, the interior ministry has said.
A detachment of the security and defence forces (FDS) clashed Sunday with heavily armed terrorists in a valley near Dogon Kiria," the ministry said in a statement.
"Following intense combat the enemy was pushed back," it said, leaving two soldiers dead and five wounded, while the "enemy" casualties were not yet known.
It was the second such attack in the Dogondoutchi region which up to now had been spared raids by armed jihadist groups.
In February, two gendarmes and a civilian were killed in an attack by armed men at Bagaji, a village in the region.
Dogondoutchi is near Nigeria but several hundred kilometres from where the Boko Haram fighters have carried out deadly incursions in the southeast Diffa region of Niger.
On the other hand, Dogondoutchi is near Niger's Tahoua region where several areas bordering Mali are under a state of emergency from attacks. (AFP)