Islamist militants have killed at least 16 civilians in an attack on a village in southwestern Niger, a local official and a security source said on Saturday.
The unknown gunmen opened fire during Friday prayers in the village of Theim in Tillabery region and killed 16 people, local mayor Halido Zibo said by phone.
A security source affirmed the attack and put the death toll at 17.
On Monday at least 37 civilians were killed in an attack in a village in the same region, including 14 children.
Armed groups in Tillabery and Tahoua regions bordering Mali have killed over 420 civilians and driven tens of thousands of others from their homes in 2021, New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch said in a report this month.
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.