A senior security source disclosed on Monday that two prominent jihadists associated with the Islamic State’s Sahel affiliate were apprehended in a collaborative operation conducted by Niger and French forces.
According to a senior security source on Monday, Niger and French forces successfully carried out a joint operation resulting in the arrest of two high-ranking jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State in the Sahel region.
After being actively pursued, the two individuals affiliated with the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) were apprehended on separate occasions last week in western Niger, source added.
The apprehension of the two individuals took place in the Tillaberi region, situated near the border with Burkina Faso, an area severely affected by jihadist activities.
The senior security source identified the two individuals as Abu Maryam, also known as Zaid, and Sita Ousseini, who is also referred to as Loukoumane in wanted notices.
These individuals were among a group of jihadists who were being pursued by Burkina Faso due to their involvement or association with the planning and execution of “terrorist acts.”
Zaid had a reward offered by Burkina Faso amounting to nearly $250,000, while Loukoumane had a reward exceeding $291,000.
Soldiers from Niger and France have been engaging in collaborative operations in western Niger for several months, primarily focusing on a border region that connects Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
Despite being one of the world’s poorest nations, the country is confronting challenges posed by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) jihadists in the east, as well as Al-Qaeda and ISGS in the west.