Gunmen in southwestern Niger attacked and killed at least 58 people when they intercepted a convoy returning from a weekly market in a volatile corner of Niger, the government said on Tuesday.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility of attacks on Monday that occurred in the Tillabery region, which is near the troubled border of Niger with Mali, and has seen increasingly deadly attacks by armed groups active across the region with links to ISIL (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.
The announcement was read on Niger state television on March 16 evening by government spokesman Abdourahmane Zakaria, who declared three days of national mourning for the victims.
On Monday announcement was read on the Niger state television by the government spokesman Abdourahmane Zakaria, who declared three days of national mourning for the victims.
Monday’s attack was an echo of the January 2 massacre that left 100 civilians dead in two villages in Tillabery, considered to be one of the deadliest episodes in the country’s recent history.
According to the government statement the assailants this time intercepted four vehicles transporting passengers from a weekly market to the villages of Chinagoder and Darey Dey.
“These individuals then gutlessly and cruelly proceeded to carry out targeted executions of passengers,” it said. “In the village of Darey Dey, they killed people and burned the granaries.”
Not only are armed groups active in the Tillaberi region, but the counterterrorism offensives against them have helped give rise to ethnic militias, analysts say.