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Armed men on motorcycles killed at least fifteen people on Thursday in the western region of Tillabéri, Niger, according to local officials. This area near the Malian border has already been hit several times by jihadist attacks.
New deadly attacks took place Thursday, June 24 at around 3:30 p.m. local (2:30 p.m. GMT), in the western region of Tillabéri, Niger, local elected officials told AFP. The motorcycle attackers killed at least fifteen people, including four in the village of Danga-Zouani, and four in Korombara, a nearby village.
“The other people were slaughtered in their fields” where they were sowing cereals at the start of the rainy season in Niger, a local elected official told AFP. A city official said “at least ten people were killed in these attacks” citing “a still provisional balance sheet”.
“We were also told that granaries and huts were burned,” lamented this municipal official, assuring that “the Defense and Security Forces (FSD) have already been sent there to secure the sector”.
A former mayor of Tondikiwindi (in the same region) confirmed the attacks, without giving a precise assessment.
A region targeted by suspected jihadists
The territory of this rural commune of Tondikiwindi had been the target in January of particularly deadly attacks on the villages of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadereye, during which 100 civilians were killed by armed men who had come on motorcycles who had fled to neighboring Mali. .
The territory of the commune of Tondikiwindi had already been the scene in 2017 of an ambush that killed four members of the American special forces and five Nigerien soldiers in Tongo Tongo.
The Tillabéri region is located in the so-called “three borders” area between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.
On March 15, in the same region, suspected jihadists carried out several attacks on vehicles returning from the large weekly market in Banibangou. They also targeted a village, slaughtering residents and setting fire to vehicles and granaries. A total of 66 people had been killed.
Niger is confronted with its western borders with Mali and Burkina, with frequent attacks of Sahelian jihadist groups including the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS) and in the south-east, with the atrocities of the Nigerian jihadists of Boko Haram and of Iswap, resulting from a split from Boko Haram.