Inside Minister Alkache Alhada says the assault passed off within the villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye, close to the border with Mali.
Gunmen have killed dozens of civilians and wounded a number of extra in assaults on two villages in western Niger, close to the border with Mali, in line with a senior official.
Inside Minister Alkache Alhada informed the DPA information company that the assaults on Saturday passed off within the villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye within the area of Mangaize.
At the very least 56 civilians had been killed and 20 extra wounded, he mentioned, with out specifying the precise toll in every village.
It was not instantly clear who was answerable for the assaults.
A neighborhood journalist informed the AFP information company that fifty folks had been killed in Tchombangou, whereas Reuters, citing safety sources, mentioned at the least 49 had been killed and 17 had been wounded in the identical village.
One other 30 had been killed in Zaroumdareye, one other safety supply informed Reuters.
Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from Niger’s capital Niamey, mentioned, “The idea right here is that the attackers got here in throughout the border from Mali.
“That is likely one of the most porous areas of Niger. The border with Burkina Faso can also be porous and has seen assaults from armed teams loyal to al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS). And on the border with Nigeria, we’ve seen elevated exercise with Boko Haram assaults concentrating on not solely civilians, but additionally navy personnel.”
The violence got here on the identical day Niger introduced the outcomes from the primary spherical of a presidential election.
They confirmed former Inside Minister Mohamed Bazoum of the governing Nigerien Get together for Democracy and Socialism main with 39 % of the votes.
Bazoum will now face former President Mahamane Ousmane, who garnered 17 % of the vote, in a runoff on February 20.
Ousmane was Niger’s first democratically elected president till he was deposed in a coup in 1996. Bazoum is an ally of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou, who’s stepping down after two phrases.
The realm the place Saturday’s assaults passed off, Mangaize, is positioned in Tillaberi, an enormous and unstable area the place the borders of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge.
Fighters with hyperlinks to al-Qaeda and the ISIL (ISIS) armed group have more and more mounted assaults throughout West Africa’s Sahel area lately regardless of the presence of hundreds of regional and international troops.
The violence has hit Mali and Burkina Faso the toughest, however has additionally spilled into western Niger. In keeping with the United Nations, at the least 4,000 folks throughout the three nations died in violence linked to the armed teams in 2019.
On December 21, seven Nigerien troopers had been killed in an ambush in Tillaberi, whereas 34 villagers had been massacred within the southeastern area of Diffa on the Nigerian border final month.