Niger | Jihadist attacks escalate, 203 dead in six days
Defence Redefined
Published on 23/03/2021 at 11:26

The western part of Niger, near the border with Mali, has been hit by the deadliest jihadist attacks in recent years, with 137 people killed on Sunday, according to the authorities’ latest death toll information, in addition to reported 66 deaths in attacks that took place six days ago.

The escalation of attacks in the western part of the country is the most serious challenge facing the new head of state Mohamed Bazoum, the successor of the outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou, whose election victory was confirmed on Sunday by the Constitutional Court.

Also read: Mali | Nearly 100 jihadists killed in joint operation of French and Malian forces

The attacks that were launched on Sunday in villages and communities in the Tilia district of Tawa district “killed 137 people”, the Niger government said last night.

“By systematically targeting civilians, these atrocities have reached new levels of horror and barbarism,” government spokesman Zakaria Abdouraman said in a statement on public television.

“The government condemns these barbaric acts committed by faithless, lawless people,” and declares “three days of national mourning” as of today, he added.

Armed motorcyclists repeatedly raided villages, where they “fired on anything moving,” a local elected official said, adding that the perpetrators of the massacres also engaged in animal theft.

The vast Taua region, covered mainly by desert, is located east of Tilabery near the border with Mali.

The Tillaberi region is located in the “three-border” zone of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso and is frequently attacked by jihadists swearing allegiance to al-Qaeda or the Islamic State (IS).

On March 15, alleged jihadists launched attacks on cars returning from a weekly market. They also attacked a village, slaughtering residents, setting fire to cars and barns. Official toll: 66 dead.

On the same day, an attack on the Mali army in this “three-border” area, for which ISIS claimed responsibility, resulted in the death of 33 soldiers.

On January 2, between the two rounds of the presidential election, 100 people were killed in attacks on two villages in the Mangaize community. The attacks that took place prior to the Sunday attacks in Taua were among the deadliest attacks by alleged jihadists in Nigerian history.

Also read: Mali | Nearly 100 jihadists killed in joint operation of French and Malian forces





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