| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Unknown gunmen kill 19 civilians in west Niger

Nineteen civilians were killed when armed men raided a village in west Niger close to the border with Mali, a local official said on Sunday.

“For the moment, the number of dead stands at 19 and two people have been wounded in an attack by armed men on motorbikes in the village of Gaigorou” in the Tillaberi region on Saturday evening, the municipal official from Dessa, told AFP.

The official said that the assailants initially attacked people at a funeral, before going on to the village where they “shot at everyone they saw.”

Governor Ibrahim Tidjani Katiella told the DPA news agency the attackers, who likely came from Mali, surrounded the village and then started killing the inhabitants.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Thirteen people were killed in March when gunmen on motorbikes raided three separate villages in the country.

Including the fatalities, more than 300 people have died across the country during such attacks since the beginning of the year.

“What concerns us a lot is this escalation of violence and insecurity that is recently taking place in the region,” Katiella had said back in March.