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Unthinkable Tragedy Strikes Niger Fields as Gunmen Claim 12 Lives

Gunmen Attack Two Villages in Niger’s Border Region, Killing a Dozen People

August 27, 2021

Gunmen have launched a deadly attack on two villages in Niger’s vast Tillaberi border region, resulting in the deaths of twelve people who were working in the fields, according to security and local sources. The attack took place on Thursday afternoon, with armed men targeting the villages of Doukou Saraou and Doukou Makani, both located less than a kilometer apart.

An official from the Anzourou district confirmed that all the victims were male. The death toll has not been officially announced by the security source.

A Hotbed for Insurgency

The Tillaberi region, known for its arid and unstable conditions, is located in the tri-border zone where southwestern Niger meets Mali and Burkina Faso. This area has become a hotbed of activity for insurgent groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Despite the state of emergency and the presence of a significant number of anti-jihadist forces, attacks in the region are unfortunately common. French soldiers are working alongside their Nigerien counterparts in Tillaberi, according to authorities from both countries.

Thousands Forced to Flee

Last week, the United Nations reported that nearly 11,000 people had been displaced in southwestern Niger due to the escalating violence. The Tillaberi region alone is home to 150,000 internally displaced individuals, as confirmed by the UN.

Between May 2020 and August 2021, several villages in the Anzourou district experienced similar attacks, resulting in dozens of casualties caused by gunmen riding motorcycles.

A Struggle Against Jihadist Violence

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, is also grappling with long-standing jihadist violence in its southeastern region. This violence often spills across the border from neighboring Nigeria.

The situation in Niger remains challenging, and efforts to combat the insurgency and protect vulnerable communities continue.

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