Suspected Islamist militants have attacked an army camp in western Niger, killing at least 18 soldiers, the Niger government said.
The attack took place on Monday afternoon at a camp at Inates, along the border with Mali, a defence ministry statement said.
The attackers detonated two car bombs at the camp before opening opening fire from motorcycles, the statement said.
The assault was repulsed with the help of US and French aircraft, which forced the attackers back across the border to Mali.
Niger is battling an Islamist insurgency spanning several countries in the impoverished region.