NIGER: Around 100 people were killed in a terrorist attack in Niger. The attacks on the villages of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye in Western Niger occurred on Sunday just as the first round of presidential results were announced. “The civilian massacre has rocked the jihadist-plagued Tillaberi region,” a local mayor said. Ruling party candidate Mohamed Bazoum had won the first round of Niger’s presidential vote last week.
Almou Hassane, the mayor of the Tondikiwini commune said, “People were waged by terrorists who came riding about 100 motorcycles. There were up to 70 dead in Tchoma Bangou and 30 dead in Zaroumadareye” The Tondikiwini commune administers Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye villages. The two villages are seven kilometers (four miles) apart from each other.
According to the reports, the attackers had split into two groups to carry out simultaneous attacks on the two villages. Earlier, the local officials had first reported the raids on Saturday. However, the death toll around that time was unclear. According to a local official, the jihadists had carried out the double massacre after local people had lynched two of their number.
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou has expressed his condolences in a statement on Twitter. He condemned the attacks and called them “cowardly and barbaric”.
The villages are in the unstable Tillaberi region. This region is located in the “tri-border” area where Niger, Mali, and Burkin Faso converge. The area has been suffering jihadist assaults for years.
According to the United Nations, four thousand people across the three nations died in 2019 due to jihadist violence and bloodshed stirred by Islamists. Niger has also being attacked by the jihadists from Nigeria. Boko Haram terrorists killed 34 people in Toumor village on December 12.