In Niger, gunmen kill 14 in village near Mali border

Published : July 27, 2021 15:18 IST

Villagers in western Niger have been under attack by militants in the tri-border region. Photo: Issauf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images

Officials said the attack by unidentified shooters on motorbikes "targeted civilians" in Banibangou — near the jihadist-plagued tri-border region spanning Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Armed men killed 14 civilians in an attack on a village in western Niger, the government said on July 26. The area near Niger's restive border with Mali is prone to jihadist attacks.

What we know about the attack

The attack took place on July 25 when shooters "targeted civilians, killing 14, including nine working in fields," the Interior Ministry said, adding that one person was wounded. Gunmen on motorbikes opened fire at around 3 p.m. in a village in the Banibangou district, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the border with Mali, according to the ministry.

An investigation was under way to bring trial those responsible for "these cowardly and barbaric attacks," the ministry said.

Violence plagues tri-border region

Banibangou is located in what is known as the three-borders region, between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. For years, the area has been the center of deadly attacks by jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.

Similar attacks have repeatedly occurred in the region despite security efforts by authorities. Gunmen on motorbikes flee across the border into Mali after their raids. An attack by suspected jihadists in the same district left 66 people dead in March.

Last month, 19 people were killed in an attack on villages in Tondikiwindi, in a neighboring district. Some 1,200 Chadian soldiers are deployed in the three-borders region by the G5 Sahel group — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

fb/msh (AFP, Reuters)

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