18 Civilians Killed in Fresh Attack in Niger

No fewer than 18 civilians have been killed in a fresh attack at Deye Koukou, Western Niger, reports say.

The Wednesday attack, near the Niger border with Mali, comes days after 14 other civilians were killed by gunmen on motorbikes in the same area.

Koukou in the commune of Banibangou is an area around the three-border region between Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.

There have been no explanations to the circumstances of the attack; but militants have been blamed for the incidents.

Niger, which borders Nigeria to the north has – like its West African neighbours – experienced attacks from terrorist groups. The attacks were previously directed at security forces but this year, attacks have targeted civilians amid increasing ethnic conflicts.

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In March, 66 people were reportedly killed in a market attack in the same community by suspected militants.

As many as 100 civilians were killed in a similar raid in January after armed militants on motorcycles surrounded two villages in the western Tillaberi region near the Mali border.

Previous attacks in Tillaberi have been blamed on an affiliate of the terror group Daesh, also known as ISIS.

The G5 Sahel group, consisting of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, maintains a contingent of 1,200 Chadian soldiers in the three-borders region as part of a multinational force.

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