Armed militants ambushed Nigerian soldiers near the western village of Tongo, 17 soldiers are feared dead while 11 are said to be missing.
There has been a growing militant threat from several Islamist groups in Niger and other countries in the Sahel. Militant belonging to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are said to be active in the region and usually conduct cross boarder raids.
In 2013, French troops intervened and prevented them from advancing on the capital of Mali where they are most active.
Niger government spoke person Abdourahman Zakariyyah told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that soldiers in pursuit of militants that attacked a high prison outside the capital, Niamey drove their vehicle into a landmine and then the assailant started firing at the soldires.
He further said the attack happened near the where United States troops and five Niger soldiers were killed two years ago.
Six of the injured soldiers have been evacuated to a hospital in the capital, while a search operation is ongoing by French and American troops who have a base in Niger.
Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania are the five anti-insurgency force operating in the Sahel