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A Niger soldier patrols along the border in Maradi region. Picture: GILES CLARKE/GETTY IMAGES
A Niger soldier patrols along the border in Maradi region. Picture: GILES CLARKE/GETTY IMAGES

Niamey  — Unidentified armed men have killed 37 civilians, including 14 children, in an attack on a village in southwest Niger, according to internal security service memos and a local official.

The attack occurred on Monday in the commune of Banibangou, in the Tillabery region near the Malian border, where Islamist militants have killed hundreds of civilians in 2021.

The government did not respond to requests for comment on the information shared by two security sources and confirmed by a local official who attended a mass funeral in the village.

Armed groups in the Tillabery and Tahoua regions have killed more than 420 civilians and driven tens of thousands of others from their homes in 2021, New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch said in an August 11 report.

The attacks are part of a wider conflict spanning Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger in Africa’s Sahel region where jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State are seeking to take control.

Niger has seen a sharp rise in attacks on civilians in 2021, including some of the deadly in living memory. In March, attackers killed 137 in co-ordinated raids in the Tahoua region and in January over 100 people were killed in the same region as Monday's attack.

Reuters

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