Suspected Boko Haram militants kill 9 and abduct 37 in Niger

Almost half of Diffa population is in need of humanitarian help. Almost half of Diffa population is in need of humanitarian help. Jean de Lestrange EU/ECHO

12 July 2017
Alleged members of the extremist group Boko Haram targeted a village in the region of Diffa in Niger, kidnapping tens of women and children.

On July 2, in Niger, nine people were killed and at least 37 were abducted by militants suspected to be part of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The attack occurred at night in the village of Ngalewa, in the southern region of Diffa, about 50 kilometres (30 miles)  from the border with Nigeria. According to officials and local journalists,  gunmen arrived with camels, stole food supplies and cattle, then kidnapped tens of women, adolescents and children. They also killed eight young people and one elderly man before escaping.

While nobody made a claim for the attack, the extremist group  Boko Haram is the major suspect. This group gained prominence  in 2009 in the northeast of Nigeria, where it is still based, with the aim of imposing  a strict version of  Islamic law. Since its insurgency, Boko Haram has committed numerous attacks in Nigeria, killing more than 20,000 people and abducting hundreds of others, and  launching frequent cross-border raids. The region of Diffa, in Niger, is the closest to Boko Haram’s stronghold and has declared a state of emergency, as it has been regularly targeted by the extremist group over the last two years.

The Diffa region was recently the centre  of another alleged Boko Haram attack. On June 29, two female suicide bombers killed two  people and injured 11 in an internally displaced person camp run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the city of Kablewa. According to UNHCR, this was the first suicide attack in the region of Diffa in a year. Authorities decided to transfer the thousands of refugees and displaced people to another camp further from the border with Nigeria and the Boko Haram threat.


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