Gunmen ambush and kill 69 in Niger’s troubled borderlands

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Gunmen killed 69 radical including a section politician successful a jihadist onslaught successful a distant country of south-west Niger, the country’s interior curate has confirmed, amid a question of unit against civilians that has swept the state this year.

A delegation led by the politician of Banibangou was ambushed connected Tuesday astir 50 km (30 miles) from the town, adjacent the borderline with Mali. The country is overrun by militants associated with a section affiliate of Islamic State that has killed hundreds of civilians successful agrarian communities this year.

Fifteen radical survived and a hunt cognition was nether way, the interior minister, Alkache Alhada, said connected authorities television. No radical claimed work for the attack.

A poverty-stricken, arid portion of westbound Africa encompassing the borderlands of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso has been racked by unit successful caller years arsenic equipped groups, immoderate linked with al-Qaeda, person sought to found power implicit communities and escaped the portion of section and planetary subject forces. Thousands of civilians person been killed and millions person been displaced.

Not including Tuesday’s violence, Islamist groups person killed much than 530 radical successful attacks connected civilians successful the frontier regions of south-west Niger this year, much than 5 times much than successful each of 2020, according to information provided by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), a consultancy which tracks governmental violence.

In August, militants carried retired a drawstring of attacks successful the area, including 1 successful which 37 radical were killed.

The militants often people section officials including mayors, colony chiefs and spiritual elders successful an effort to destabilise communities, leaving them susceptible to extortion and attack. Hundreds of specified officials person been killed oregon abducted since the opening of 2018.