Niger: 25 civilians killed in attack near Mali |


At least 25 civilians were killed Tuesday in an attack by alleged jihadists in the western part of Niger, near the border with Mali, the African country’s interior ministry said on Wednesday night.

Earlier, local sources told AFP that about ten people had been killed.

On Tuesday, “a camp in Bakora (…), in the region of Tilia, became the target of an attack by unknown gunmen”, said an announcement of the Ministry of Interior that was read on the public radio.

The provisional death toll stands at “25 dead” and “one injured”, while “two vehicles were burned”, according to the same source.

The ministry also said that a second attack was carried out against the Temaram community in the Taua region by “unknown gunmen” who “set fire to or caused damage” to “social infrastructure”, including the town hall, health center and public offices. Niger Electricity Company (NIGELEC).

Two money transfer offices were “looted”, according to the ministry.

“Clearing operations” are under way in the affected areas, he added.

The district of Taua (west) is adjacent to Mali.

Earlier in the day, a local official said there was a “battle” between “armed men” and a “paramilitary group” in Bakora on Tuesday with “about ten dead in the ranks of the paramilitaries”.

According to the newspaper Aïr Info, which cited “survivors”, the perpetrators “arrived around 14:00 (local time; 15:00 Greek time), with 6 4×4 vehicles, which were preceded by several motorcycles”.

In the same district of Tilia, 141 civilians were massacred on March 21st by alleged jihadists in attacks in Bacora, Intezayan and various other villages, communities and camps, according to the official toll.

These were the bloodiest attacks in recent years in Niger, a country that is often mourned for such actions.

Tilamberi – in the so-called transnational border zone near the border with Burkina Faso and Mali – and Taua, vast, destabilized areas, have been transformed since 2017 into theaters of jihadist groups swearing allegiance to either Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda. Islamic State (IS).

In recent weeks, paramilitary organizations have been formed in various communities in these two regions.

In early November, at least 69 villagers, including the mayor of Banibangu, were killed by alleged jihadists in Tilabari (west), also near Mali.

According to local sources who spoke to the French Agency, the mayor, who had been appointed head of “vigilance committees” of various villages in the area, fell into an “ambush”.


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