Boko Haram has kidnapped fifteen girls in the Toumour, South-eastern Niger Republic.
Boukar Mani Orthe, the mayor of Toumour in Niger’s Diffa region near the border with Nigeria, disclosed that about 50 unidentified armed men held the girls captive in a village about nine kilometres from the town centre.
Suspected Boko Haram fighters on Thursday, killed eight people working at French drilling company Foraco’s water well site in Toumour.
Boko Haram has kept on with its insurgency since 2009, aimed at establishing an Islamic state in Northeast Nigeria.
It has launched several attacks on neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Boko Haram’s violence has chased many people away from their homes, into the Lake Chad basin region.
The kidnapping of schoolgirls has been a Boko Haram horror mark, since its fighters in 2014 kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, in Nigeria.
It also staged this year, another major kidnap of schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe state.
In Mali, French forces said they “put out of action” some 30 Islamist militants, possibly including veteran Malian jihadist leader Amadou Koufa, during a raid in the central Mali region of Mopti.
The French army, with about 4,500 troops in West Africa battling Islamist militants, did not specify whether the jihadists had all been killed or taken prisoners.
The operation took place with air support on Thursday night, it said.
“At this stage of the evaluation of the operation, it appears that about 30 terrorists were put out of action,” the army said in its statement on Friday, adding that Koufa and other prominent militants were probably among them.
Koufa, a radical preacher, masterminded the Massina Liberation Front (MLF), a group blamed for a wave of attacks. The attacks have moved Mali’s six-year-old Islamist insurgency from the remote desert north ever closer to its more populous south.