NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Niger’s defense minister says his country and Chad will send troops to neighboring Nigeria to fight Boko Haram extremists.

Hassoumi Massaoudou said late Thursday that the military deployment by the two countries is meant to secure their borders from Islamic extremists, who have staged several attacks in recent weeks in Niger, including one in Bosso that killed at least 26 soldiers.

He would not give more details on the number of soldiers, or their timing, but said they will remain in Nigeria’s Borno state until the zone is secured.

The two countries, along with Cameroon and Nigeria, are part of a multinational force committed to fighting Boko Haram.

The seven-year insurgency by the Nigeria-based extremists has killed at least 20,000 people and displaced 2.7 million people.

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