In the west of the African state of Niger, almost 140 people were killed in raids on Sunday. The attackers are suspected jihadists.
At least 137 people died in a terrorist attack in Niger’s border region with Mali.
The alleged jihadists drove up on motorcycles and “shot anything that moved,” say witnesses.
The newly elected President Mohamed Bazoum proclaimed a three-day state mourning.
Nearly 140 people were killed in a series of raids on villages in western Niger. According to a Nigerien government spokesman on Monday, 137 people died in the attacks in the Tahoua region on the border with Mali. The government will strengthen security in the region and “hold the perpetrators of these cowardly and criminal acts” to account. More than 200 people died in attacks in the region within a week.
From Tuesday, a three-day state mourning will apply, the spokesman announced on television. The AFP news agency had previously learned from a local MP that suspected jihadists drove up on motorbikes on Sunday and “shot anything that moved”.
President condemns attack
Only on March 15, 66 people were killed in such an attack, and on January 2, even around one hundred. The attacks took place in the triangle formed by Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. This area is frequented by jihadists.
The attacks are the greatest challenge for the new head of state in Niger, Mohammed Bazoum, whose election was confirmed by the constitutional court on Sunday. In the short message service Twitter, Bazoum condemned the “barbaric” attacks on “peace-loving” civilians.
1200 soldiers from Chad were stationed in the triangle. The countries that are united in the G-5 Sahel group – Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad – have been working together in the fight against jihadist groups since 2017. 5,100 soldiers from the French military operation Barkhane, who were dispatched to the Sahel region, are also involved in this fight.
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