| 3 February 2023, Friday |

Gunmen kill 37 in Niger village attack, sources say

According to internal security service memoranda obtained on Tuesday, unidentified armed men killed 37 villagers in an attack on a community in southwest Niger.

The attack took place on Monday in the commune of Banibangou, close the Malian border, where Islamist extremists have slaughtered hundreds of civilians this year.

The government declined to comment on the material given by a security source and a former government official.

Armed groups in Niger’s Tillabery and Tahoua regions have killed over 420 civilians and driven tens of thousands from their homes in 2021, New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch said in an Aug. 11 report.

The attacks are part of a wider conflict spanning the borderlands of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger in Africa’s Sahel region where jihadists linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are seeking to take control.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in recent years.

Niger alone has seen a sharp rise in attacks on civilians this year, including some of the worst routs in living memory. In March, attackers killed 137 in coordinated raids in the Tahoua region of southwest Niger and in January over 100 people were killed in the same region as Monday’s attack.

  • Reuters