Terrible massacre in Niger, West Africa! Terrorists attacked several nomad villages in the Tahoua region near the border with neighboring Mali, killing a total of 137 people, according to official reports.
Armed men drove up on motorbikes on Sunday and “shot anything that moved,” said a local MP on Monday. The government spoke of a coordinated attack.
The victims also reportedly include many displaced people who fled local fighting and terrorism in other regions of the country.
As recently as March 15, 66 people were killed in a similar attack, and around one hundred on January 2.
The attacks took place in the triangle formed by Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. This area is frequented by jihadists. Government spokesman Abdoulraman Zakaria said soldiers had fought with the attackers on the ground.
It is still unclear who exactly is behind the current attack. A number of terrorist groups are active in Niger and other countries in the Sahel region. Some have sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda or the terrorist militia ISIS.
Niger’s government has little control in the desert-like expanses outside the cities – which is not only exploited by jihadist groups, but also by criminal networks such as people smugglers.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said Guterres deeply condemned the “heinous attacks”.
Niger’s new head of state Nigers Mohamed Bazoum, whose election was confirmed by the Constitutional Court on Sunday, spoke on Twitter of “barbaric” attacks on “peace-loving” civilians.