NIAMEY, March 25 (Xinhua) — Thirteen civilians were killed Wednesday evening during a new series of attacks by armed gunmen in western Niger, next to borders with Mali, the region’s governor said Thursday night on national television.
At around 5:30 p.m. local time (1630 GMT), the perpetrators, coming in large numbers on motorcycles, attacked three villages in the region of Tillabery, Governor Ibrahim Tijani Katiella said, noting that they killed six people in Zibane-Koira Zeno, one in Zibane-Koira Tegui and six in Gadabo.
The governor said he and General Salifou Modi, chief of staff of the Nigerien armies, led a high-level delegation to the scene to send condolences to the locals on behalf of the government.
Katiella said on TV that all measures will be taken to catch those lawless bandits.
Last Sunday, armed gunmen carried out several attacks in the country’s western region of Tahoua, killing 137 civilians.
In recent years, the western part of Niger, bordering Mali, has become scenes of operations for terrorist groups that carry out deadly attacks on armed forces and civilians, despite the presence of French anti-terror troops.
The vast Sahelo-Saharan zone faces great threats to its peace, security and development, with in particular the presence of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in the countries bordering Lake Chad, and jihadists based in northern Mali. Enditem