On Wednesday night, Islamist militants attacked a border security post in northern Benin, killing two soldiers and wounding several others, the military said.
This was the second attack in Benin this week in the Porga region. Islamist militants attacked an army patrol in the Aliboree department on Tuesday morning, army chief Colonel Fructux Gbagudi said in an internal statement seen by Reuters on Thursday.
He said the army killed one terrorist in Tuesday’s attack and another on Wednesday night. An official statement from the military later confirmed the deaths and attributed the attacks to unidentified armed men.
Terrorist attacks are rare in Benin, but groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Islamic State are active in its northern neighbors Burkina Faso and Niger, and have increasingly infiltrated the south.
Islamic extremist violence has devastated much of West Africa’s Sahel region, and the Gulf states of Guinea have beefed up security to try to keep it at bay.
“This new test reminds us in blood and pain that the danger on the ground is real,” Gabagudi said in his note to officials.
Benin has not reported an Islamic attack since 2019, when two French tourists were kidnapped in a national park and later taken to Burkina Faso by terrorists. He was saved by the French army.
Neighboring Togo said last month it had repulsed an attack near its northern border, the first in the country by suspected Islamists.