Suspected jihadists killed 10 villagers in an attack on a mosque earlier this week in western Niger’s Tillaberi region, local sources said on Wednesday.
The attack on Monday occurred in the village of Abankor in the “Tri-Border” region where Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso meet.
“The attackers arrived on motorbikes during evening prayers and the victims were in the mosque when they were killed,” an official in Banibangou city told AFP.
A resident of the neighbouring town of Tondiwindi confirmed the attack and the death toll.
On local radio Studio Kalangou, an Abankor resident said one person was injured in addition to the 10 dead, adding that the attack occurred in the early evening.
Since the start of the year, attacks by suspected jihadists have shot up in the area around Banibangou and nearby towns in the Tillaberi region.
The flashpoint area is frequently targeted by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims with deadly attacks against civilians and soldiers.
Early this month the United Nations warned that the Tillaberi region was facing a “major food crisis”, with almost 600,000 people exposed to food insecurity.
“Insecurity and recurrent attacks by suspected elements of non-state armed groups targeting farmers and civilians will have serious repercussions this year on the already precarious food situation,” the UN Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs office warned in a report sent to AFP.