Gunmen aboard bikes have attacked a sequence of villages near Niger’s troubled border with Mali, leaving a minimum of 137 folks dead in the deadliest violence to strike the African nation in current reminiscence, the federal government introduced Monday.
The newest village massacres come amid a harmful escalation in attacks following the election of Niger’s new president, Mohamed Bazoum, a number of weeks in the past.
Government spokesman Abdourahmane Zakaria confirmed the most recent killings befell Sunday, the identical day Niger’s Constitutional Court formally declared Bazoum because the winner of February’s election. He is because of take workplace on April 2 amid a quickly deteriorating scenario in Niger, lengthy destabilized by the Islamic insurgency in neighboring Mali.
In January, a minimum of 100 folks have been killed in the western villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye, the identical day that Niger introduced the presidential election would go to a second spherical on Feb. 21. Another wave of attacks lower than every week in the past killed a minimum of 66 others.
There have been no claims of duty for the current attacks on villages in Niger, though Islamic extremists not often say they’re behind violence when it kills civilians.
Niger and neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali are battling the unfold of lethal extremist violence, together with from the Islamic State group and al-Qaida, which has killed hundreds of individuals and displaced a whole lot of hundreds regardless of the presence of hundreds of regional and worldwide troops.
Not solely are jihadis lively in the Tillaberi area, however the counterterrorism offensives towards these extremists have helped give rise to ethnic militias, analysts say. Intercommunal tensions have been exacerbated consequently, notably near the border between Mali and Niger.