At least 19 civilians have died after gunmen attacked a village in western Niger, near the border with Mali. The governor of the Tillaberi region, Ibrahim Tidjani, said dozens of terrorists stormed the village of Gaigorou, opening fire on the population.
Nigerien villages have been the target of several terrorist attacks in recent years, despite the efforts of the national army, the G5 Sahel and foreign forces. According to the governor of the Tillaberi region, Ibrahim Tidjani, dozens of heavily armed terrorists on motorbikes had stormed the village of Gaigorou on Saturday evening. He told the DPA news agency that the attackers, who were probably from Mali, surrounded the village and then started shooting at the population.
A municipal official in Dessa said on Sunday that 19 people were killed and two others wounded in the attack. He told the AFP news agency that the terrorists first attacked people at a funeral ceremony before moving into the village where they « shot at everyone they saw ».
Located in the lawless « three borders » area where the borders of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge, the Tillaberi region is regularly targeted by armed groups affiliated with the ISIL group (ISIS). « What concerns us a lot is this escalation of violence and insecurity that has recently taken place in the region, » said Katiella, the governor, in March.
In March, 13 people were cowardly murdered when gunmen on motorbikes attacked the villages of Zibane-Koira Zeno, Zibane Koira-Tegui and Gadabo. Attacks against the civilian population have increased since the beginning of the year, with more than 300 people killed in western Niger.