A terrible massacre in Niger, West Africa! Terrorists attacked several Bedouin villages in the Tahoua region near the border with neighboring Mali, killing a total of 137 people, according to official reports.
A local parliamentarian said on Monday that gunmen rode motorcycles on Sunday and “shot anything that moves.” The government has reported a coordinated attack.
Several of the victims were reportedly among the displaced, who fled local fighting and terrorism in other areas of the country.
On 15 March, 66 people were killed in a similar attack, and nearly a hundred on January 2.
The attacks occurred in the triangle consisting of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. The jihadists frequent this area. Government spokesman Abd al-Rahman Zakaria said the soldiers fought with the attackers on the ground.
It remains unclear who was behind the current attack. A number of terrorist groups are active in Niger and other countries in the Sahel region. Some have sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda or the terrorist ISIS militia.
The Niger government has little control over the desert-like spaces outside the cities – which are not only exploited by jihadist groups, but also by criminal networks such as people smugglers.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said Guterres strongly condemned the “heinous attacks”.
Niger’s new head of state, Mohamed Bazoum, whose election Sunday was confirmed by the Constitutional Court, spoke on Twitter of “barbaric” attacks on “peace-loving” civilians.