IP - The Nigerian defense ministry announced that 29 soldiers were killed in an ambush by insurgents near the country's border with Mali, the deadliest attack since the military seized power in a coup in July.

Iran PressAfrica: The attack in Niger took place as soldiers were returning from operations against the militants. They were targeted by more than 100 assailants in vehicles and on motorbikes using explosive devices and suicide bombers.

"The provisional toll of the attack is as follows, 29 soldiers fell in battle and two were wounded," the defense ministry said in a statement read on Niger national television, adding that several dozen assailants were killed.

It did not specify which group was responsible or when exactly the ambush occurred but said the military operation took place between 26 September and 2 October.

Three days of national mourning have been declared.

Niger and its neighbors Mali and Burkina Faso, also run by military governments that seized power in coups, are all battling militants linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS terror groups.

It is believed that terrorist groups are responsible for thousands killed and two million displaced people in the Sahel region. 

Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso signed a security pact last month promising to defend each other against rebels or aggressors.

Meanwhile, the Niger junta who seized power in the coup denied a mediation offer by Algeria to solve its political crisis, even though Algeria had said on Monday it had received official notification of Niger's acceptance.