NIAMEY: Scores of people have been killed in raids on villages near Niger’s border with Mali, a zone notorious for jihadist attacks, local and security sources told AFP Monday.
“Armed men arrived on motorbikes and shot at everything which moved. They attacked Intazayene, Bakoarate and Wistane and surrounding areas” on Sunday, a local official said. The source put the number of fatalities at least 40.A security source confirmed the attack and said the provisional toll was 60 dead.
The three villages are located in the Tahoua region, abutting the Tillaberi region in the so-called “tri-border area” where the frontiers of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali converge.
The world’s poorest nation according to the UN’s development rankings for 189 countries, Niger is also struggling with jihadist insurgencies that have spilled over from Mali and Nigeria. Hundreds of lives have been lost, nearly half a million people have fled their homes, and devastating damage has been inflicted.
On March 15, 66 people were killed in the Tillaberi region when suspected jihadists attacked a bus carrying shoppers from the market town of Banibangou, and then raided the village of Darey-Daye, killing inhabitants and torching grain stores.
On January 2, 100 people were killed in attacks on two villages in the Mangaize district of Tillaberi.
The massacre, one of the worst in Niger’s history, occurred between two rounds of the country’s presidential election.In December 2019, 71 Nigerien troops died in an attack at Inates, and the following month 89 were killed in an assault on their base at Chinedogar.
The Nigerien government did not immediately confirm the latest attacks.