Fifteen People Killed in Western Niger Attack

More than 420 civilians have been killed in jihadist attacks in western Niger this year, the Human Rights Watch said.

Fifteen people have been killed in an attack in western Niger less than two weeks after 33 people were killed by suspected jihadists in the same area, officials said on Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement the latest attack was carried out on Monday by “unidentified armed individuals” who targeted “people working in a field” in the Banibangou region, close to the Mali border.

Banibangou falls inside what is known as the three-borders region between Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, which for years has been the scene of bloody attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Two attacks blamed on jihadists at the end of July left 33 people dead and prompted the interior ministry to promise tougher security measures in the region and to bring the killers to justice.

The authorities have made similar promises in the past but the deadly attacks have continued, often carried out by gunmen on motorbikes who flee into Mali after their raids.

Some 1,200 Chadian soldiers are deployed in the three-borders region as part of a multinational force put together by the G5 Sahel group, which comprises Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

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