Eleven people were killed in a suicide attack in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, after Boko Haram militants razed a town and thousands of people in neighbouring Niger mobilised against the group.
Children were among the dead in the bombing at a checkpoint at Yamarkumi village, four kilometres (2.5 miles) from Biu, which has been a repeated target for the Islamists.
The attacks, after another bloody weekend in Nigeria in which 13 died in another suicide bomb attack, served as a reminder to regional forces about the scale of the task they face in trying to overpower the group.
But Niger’s President Mahamdou Issoufou vowed that his country’s involvement in the four-nation coalition would herald the end for the rebels, whose six-year insurgency has killed more than 13,000.
“Niger will be the death of Boko Haram,” he told a cheering crowd after a protest in the capital, Niamey. “Nobody attacks Niger with impunity.”
Niger’s army has claimed a series of successes against Boko Haram, saying that more than 200 rebels were killed in its first cross-border raid on the southeast of the country.
On Monday, police in the Diffa region, which is currently under a state of emergency, claimed that they had detained more than 160 people suspected of being allied to the outlawed group.
Cameroon’s army separately announced that it had killed 86 militants and detained more than 1,000 people suspected of having links to Boko Haram in the country’s far north.
But with access difficult to the remote regions increasingly at the centre of the conflict and communications often non-existent, there was no independent corroboration of the claims.