Gunmen Kill Seven Benin Soldiers in Attack: Army Source

Gunmen killed seven Benin soldiers in an attack in the north of the country in Pendjari National Park, an army source and a security source said on Wednesday.

The sources did not identify the gunmen but the attack on Tuesday was the latest in a border area where Benin faces growing spillover from a jihadist conflicts in the Sahel and where criminal gangs and smugglers also operate.

“The information about the loss of seven of our compatriots is confirmed,” an army source said when asked about the attack.

Another security source also confirmed the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility and the army has yet to comment officially.

West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea countries Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast are all prepared for fallout from growing jihadist conflicts in the Sahel region across their northern borders.

Benin borders on Burkina Faso and Niger, where jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State are fighting wars.

Benin authorities have sent 3,000 troops to reinforce the frontier.

Benin’s government rarely comments about violence on its borders, but officials have acknowledged that since 2021 they have seen around 20 incursions.

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