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Niger mourns, probes weekend massacre in two villages

GlobalJan 05, 2021 00:18
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© Reuters.

NIAMEY, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Niger has declared three days of
national mourning following the massacre of 100 civilians in two
villages in the western region of the country where Islamist
militants have carried out a series of attacks.
The government said an investigation had been launched to
find the perpetrators. Witnesses have said that over a hundred
armed assailants on motorbikes surrounded the villages and
started firing indiscriminately on Saturday.
The government said reinforcements had been sent to the area
near the tri-border region of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali known
as Liptako-Gourma, where local authorities have been overrun by
militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
The attack highlights the fragile security in the West
Africa Sahel region, and in Niger in particular, ahead of a
presidential election runoff in the country on Feb. 21.
The weekend killings were among the worst in Niger's recent
history.
They have forced survivors and the population of four
neighbouring villages to flee, the United Nations Refugee Agency
said in a statement on Monday, adding that at least 1,000 people
were on the move from the area, trying to reach the town of
Ouallam around 80 km (50 miles) away.
Many were making the journey on foot, the agency added.
It said that Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali were at the
epicentre of one of the world's fastest-growing displacement and
protection crises, hosting 851,000 refugees already, and nearly
2 million internally displaced people.

Niger mourns, probes weekend massacre in two villages
 

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