Attack in western Niger claims 19 lives

Map of Niger Map of Niger Photo by Omersukrugoksu on iStock

18 April 2021 

A group of armed men slaughters 19 victims in the province of Tillaberi.

On Saturday, April 17th, various armed men ambushed the local village of Gaigoru, Tillaberi. Arriving by motorcycle, they terrorized the entire village without remorse, destroying private property and burning down food supply kiosks.. Reports indicate that they intended to attack a group of people at a funeral mourning a relative. Three people died at the initial strike, before the group then moved to the rest of the village. 

Arriving at the village plaza, they began firing indiscriminately at whoever they could see.  People fled for cover, but more than 16 died at the scene and 2 others are known to be gravely injured. After they finished stealing goods and destroying houses they quickly left the village on their motorbikes. Local and state governmental authorities did not reach the crime scene until hours later on Sunday morning. 

The main issue at hand is that Tillaberi is located in a very dangerous area. Geographically, the westen province is part of the violence-prone “three border zone” with Mali and Burkina Faso. As a result, many armed groups linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have continually operated within the region terrorising  the neighboring villages. The figures are quite alarming, as U.N reports dictate that in this year alone, more than 300 people have been murdered by terrorist-linked attacks in the “three border zone”. The international community must pay closer attention to these atrocities as the main victims have been, and will likely continue to be, women and children.


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Author: Sergio Gomez; Editor: Xavier Atkins

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