100 dead in attacks on two western Niger villages

Niamey (Niger), Jan 4 (AFP) | Publish Date: 1/4/2021 1:20:30 PM IST

“Terrorists” killed around 100 people in two villages in western Niger, the latest in a string of civilian massacres that have rocked the jihadist-plagued Tillaberi region, a local mayor said Sunday.

The attacks on the villages of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye occurred Saturday just as first-round presidential results were announced.
They were waged by “terrorists who came riding about 100 motorcycles,” said Almou Hassane, the mayor of the Tondikiwindi commune that administers both villages.
“There were up to 70 dead in Tchoma Bangou and 30 dead in Zaroumadareye,” he told AFP, adding he had just returned from the scene of the attacks.
The two villages are 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of the capital Niamey.
“There have also been 75 wounded, some of whom have been evacuated to Niamey and to Ouallam for treatment,” Hassane said.
The attackers split into two columns to carry out simultaneous attacks on the two villages, which lie seven kilometres (four miles) apart, the mayor added.
Local elected officials first reported the raids on Saturday, but the death count was unclear, with one source putting it at around 50.
Issoufou Issaka, a former government minister who comes from the region, said the jihadists had carried out the double massacre after local people had lynched two of their number. He gave an estimated death count of 83.

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