Niger army kills at least 280 Boko Haram militants: Ministry

Niger's army killed more than 280 Boko Haram militants near the southeast border with Nigeria in days of land and air raids, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

More than 200 jihadists were killed in air strikes and a further 87 by ground troops since the offensive began on December 28, the ministry said in a statement read on state television.

It comes after Western African leaders held talks in November on the escalating attacks by the Nigerian Islamist group in the Lake Chad area, a strategic region where the borders of Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger converge.

The operations were carried out on the islands of Lake Chad and along the Komadougou Yobe river which serves as a natural border between Niger and Nigeria, which has suffered a string of recent attacks on its military bases.

The Niger army said it had lost no troops or equipment in its offensive and had seized eight canoes and two rocket launchers as well as assault weapons, ammunition and vehicles.