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8 Killed in Attacks on Niger-Mali Border

Niger's government has confirmed that unidentified gunmen killed five military personnel in an attack Monday along the country's border with Mali.

Government spokesman Laouali DanDah said five members of Niger's military and three attackers were killed in the Monday ambush.

DabDah says the government is conducting an investigation to identify the attackers and to allow it to not only take appropriate measures to guarantee the security of people living in these areas, but also to prevent future attacks, like this one that have disrupted the region for some time.

He says the investigation will allow them to determine the full extent of the attack and bring those implicated in it to justice.

DanDah pointed to widespread insecurity in the region.

Tuareg rebel groups and militants associated with al-Qaida are both reported to be active in the border region between Niger and Mali. The region has been plagued by reports of attacks and kidnappings in the past year.

Some security sources say members of the terrorist group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb were behind Monday's attack, while others point to local armed bandits and traffickers.