NIAMEY (Reuters) - Two people aboard a horse-driven cart were killed in Niger on Thursday when they ran over a mine thought to have been planted by Islamist Boko Haram insurgents, security sources said.
As the armies of Niger, Chad and Cameroon step up the fight to contain Boko Haram within the militants’ heartland of northeast Nigeria, they have responded with increasing landmine and roadside bomb attacks.
“In Zaourararm, two people aboard a cart were killed when a mine exploded beneath its weight,” said one security source, referring to a village about 30 km (20 miles) west of the town of Diffa near the border with Nigeria.
Boko Haram has struck Diffa several times this month, prompting the local government to declare a state of emergency.
Thursday’s incident was the second mine explosion in Niger in less than a week. A roadside bomb blast in Cameroon on Wednesday killed two soldiers.
Military chiefs are meeting in the Chadian capital this week to finalize plans for an 8,700-strong task force of troops from Chad, Niger and Cameroon plus Nigeria and Benin.
Reporting by Abdoulaye Massalaki; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Mark Heinrich