Two Nigerien villages near the Malian border were attacked on Saturday by terrorists. At least one hundred civilians were killed, according to Almou Hassane, the mayor who administers the two villages. A heavy toll confirmed by the Nigerien Prime Minister on Sunday evening.
Prime Minister Brigi Rafini, who visited the scene of the attacks on Saturday on Sunday, confirmed the carnage, deploring on public television “a disastrous toll”, “a horrible situation”.
“There were nearly 70 dead in the village of Tchomo Bangou and 30 dead in Zaroumadareye,” testified Almou Hassane, the mayor who administers the two villages.
Regarding the attack on Tchomo-Bangou, “The attack took place around noon (11 am GMT) and there were deaths,” a senior official from the Tillabéri region told AFP, without giving any details. precise assessment, nor precision on the circumstances of the attack.
“The assailants came to surround the village and they killed up to fifty people. The wounded were evacuated to Ouallam hospital,” a journalist from a local radio station said on condition of anonymity.
A bloody region
On December 21, six days before the presidential election, seven Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush in the same region.
According to the journalist, the Tchomo-Bangou attack occurred in the vicinity of Tongo Tongo where four American special forces soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers were killed in October 2017 in an ambush. This attack was claimed by the Islamic State group in the Greater Sahara.
The attack on Tchomo-Bangou comes as the results of the first round of the presidential election of December 27 have fallen, largely leading (39.33%) the candidate of the ruling party Mohamed Bazoum, former minister of the ‘Interior which promised to strengthen the fight against jihadist groups.
The West African country has already been the scene of attacks by Islamist militants linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group. Attacks near the border with Mali and Burkina Faso in the west and on the border with Nigeria in the south-east left hundreds dead last year.
The President expressed shock over the killing that happened in Zaroumdareye, a border town between Niger Republic and Mali, using the opportunity to call for stronger security ties among African countries.