Niger is plunged into the chaos of Jihadist terrorism. There have recently been several violent incidents in the Sahel region, carried out by militant groups. The government of Niger has confirmed that several armed men killed over 50 civilians yesterday in an alleged terrorist attack near the border with Mali.
This attack comes amidst electoral uncertainty. The alleged militants broke into two villages in western Niger on Saturday night.
The armed men attacked the village of Tchoma Bangou in the Tillabéri region, some 150 km north of Niamey, where they killed half a hundred people, and also attacked the neighbouring village of Zaroumdareye, leaving an unknown number of victims.
Hours before the attack, a group linked to al-Qaeda had acknowledged responsibility for the murder of three French soldiers in a separate attack in Mali on Monday.
This attack furthermore coincides with the announcement of the results of last Sunday's presidential elections, which gave victory to the ruling party candidate and former foreign minister Mohamed Bazoum, although he will have to go to the second round on 21 February as he failed to achieve over 50 percent of the votes.
In the light of the attacks on Saturday, Interior Minister Alkache Alhada said that soldiers had been sent to the area. The Nigerian region of Tillabéri, where the villages are located, lies within the so-called three-frontier zone between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, which has been plagued by Jihadist attacks in recent years and seems to be increasing in recent months.
For the time being no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although it displays many similarities with the actions perpetrated by the Jihadists who tend to operate in the region.