Seven local members of Niger’s Independent National Electoral Commission were killed Sunday in the explosion of their vehicle which ran over a mine in the Tillabéri region (west) near Mali, the governor of that region told AFP.
It is an incident that comes on the day of the second round of the presidential election in Niger. Seven local members of the National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni) were killed Sunday, February 21 in the explosion of their vehicle. According to the announcement of the governor of Tillabéri, the latter ran over a mine in this region of western Niger, near Mali.
« I got the information around noon (11:00 GMT), there were seven deaths when the vehicle hit a mine. These are presidents of polling stations and their secretaries, » recruited by Céni, told AFP Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, governor of the region of Tillabéri.
The accident also caused « three injuries », according to him.
The death of these seven people comes on the day of the second round of the presidential election between the favorite Mohamed Bazoum, loyal to the outgoing Mahamadou Issoufou, and the opponent and former president Mahamane Ousmane.
The tragedy occurred in Waraou, a town located in the commune of Dargol in the Tillabéri region, about a hundred kilometres from the capital of Niamey. This is the so-called « three borders » zone between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.
Area regularly targeted by attacks
In early January, after the first round of the presidential election, one hundred people were killed in the attack on two villages in the same region of Tillabéri, one of the worst massacres of civilians in this Sahelian country regularly targeted by jihadist groups. The double attack had been perpetrated « by terrorists who came on board a hundred motorbikes », according to the authorities.
The Tillabéri region has been under a state of emergency since 2017.
In an attempt to fight against the jihadists, the authorities have banned motorbike traffic night and day for a year and ordered the closure of some markets suspected of supplying « terrorists ».