Five civilians, four soldiers and 40 armed attackers were killed on Sunday in a clash in the turbulent southwestern region of Niger, near the border with Mali, the government said.
Around 100 heavily armed motorcycle “terrorists” attacked the village of Tchoma Bangou, striking at around 3 p.m. Sunday, the Nigerien defense ministry said in a statement read on state television which did not identify who it suspected was. ‘be behind the latest murderous incident.
The “rapid and vigorous reaction” of the Defense and Security Forces (FDS), “made it possible to repel the attack and inflict heavy losses on the enemy,” the ministry said, adding that its soldiers had seized motorcycles and a cache of weapons. , including AK47s and machine guns, attackers.
Tchoma Bangou is located in the Tillabéri region, bordering Mali and Burkina Faso, a so-called “three borders” area which is regularly the target of jihadist groups.
Tillaberi has been in a state of emergency since 2017. Authorities have banned motorbikes day and night for a year and ordered the closure of some markets suspected of supplying “terrorists”.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Niger fought for years jihadist insurgencies on its southwest flank with Mali, as well as Boko Haram on its southeast border with Nigeria. The repeated attacks have left hundreds dead and forced thousands to flee their homes.
In January, 70 civilians were killed by gunmen in Tchoma Bangou and 30 in the nearby village of Zaroumadareye.
Last month, 19 people were killed in villages in the same commune, officials said.
According to United Nations estimates, there are more than 300,000 internally displaced people in Niger, many of whom have fled terrorist violence that has escalated since 2015.