19 Feared Dead in West Niger Attack

Nigerien soldiers respond to an ambush during training at Exercise Flintlock 2019 near Po, Burkina Faso, Feb. 26, 2019. Approximately 2,000 service members from more than 30 African and western partner nations are participating in Flintlock 2019 at multiple locations in Burkina Faso and a key outstation in Mauritania. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. 1st Class Luke Steward)

Not less than 19 civilians were reportedly killed in the latest bloodshed when armed men raided a village in West Niger close to the border with Mali.

A municipal official from Dessa disclosed this saying “… the number of dead currently stands at 19 and two people have been wounded in an attack by armed men on motorbikes in the village of Gaigorou …” in the Tillaberi region on Saturday evening.

The official noted that an unknown number of unidentified assailants, known locally as bandits, had initially attacked people attending a funeral at a cemetery, before going on to the village where they “shot at everyone in sight”

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The Tillaberi region is situated in the unguarded “three-border” zone where the frontiers of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge and has regularly been the target of terrorist groups affiliated to the Islamic State group.

Tillaberi governor, Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella lamented the increased position of taxes imposed by militants, theft of livestock and violence against civilians. What concerns him the most, however, is the increased violence and insecurity that has recently taking over the region.

Thirteen people were killed last month when armed men on motorbikes raided the villages of Zibane-Koira Zeno, Zibane Koira-Tegui and Gadabo.

Attacks against civilians have increased since the beginning of the year, more than 300 people died in three series of attacks in the western Niger. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks so

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