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A joint operation by Nigerien and French troops in southwest Niger killed 120 "terrorists" and seized bomb-making equipment and vehicles, the country's defence ministry said Friday.

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As of February 20 "120 terrorists have been neutralised" in the operation in the vast Tillaberi region near the border with Mali and Burkina Faso, the statement said, adding there had been no losses among Nigerien or French troops.

Niger's defence minister Issoufou Katambe praised the "cooperation… in the battle against terrorism," according to the statement.

Authorities in the restive Tillaberi region have ramped up security restrictions, closing markets and banning motorbike traffic after attacks by jihadist groups over December and January killed 174 Nigerien soldiers.

A state of emergency has been in place in the region for the past two years.

Since 2015, Niger has struggled against a wave oRead More – Source