Niger Attacks Leave 137 Civilians Dead, Government Says

Several villages and settlements in western Niger, which is seeing a rise in deadly attacks by Islamist militants and militias, were targeted on Sunday, increasing the challenges faced by newly elected president Mohamed Bazoum.

At least 137 people were killed, the government said in a statement late Monday. This would be one of the deadliest attacks in the West African country in years.

This comes less than a week after 58 people were killed by gunmen on motorbikes as they were coming back from a weekly market in the village of Banibangou. Another attack in the same region on Jan. 2 left 100 people dead.

Addressing the growing insecurity in the border area between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso is one of the biggest tasks for Niger’s Bazoum, whose election win was confirmed on Sunday by Niger’s Constitutional Court.

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