3, security sources stated that, 70 citizens as a minimum were left dead and 20 others injured on Saturday by assailants in the Nigerien villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye in western Tillabery region in Niger, near the frontier with Mali.
The attack was carried out in two villages close to Mali border, Niger's local media reports say..
In the village of Tchombangou, forty-nine villagers were killed and 17 people were injured, one of the security sources said Saturday, requesting anonymity. The attack came less than a week after three French soldiers died in similar circumstances near Mali's border with Burkina Faso.
A coalition of West African and European allies is led by France against Islamist militants in West African regions, but countries like Mali and Niger still are affected by ethnic violence, drug trafficking, banditry, extremism, and human trafficking.
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Tharoor, a Congress MP and former union minister, also countered Puri, saying he had never questioned the valour of our soldiers. We have always said that we will keep giving 50% of everything we make to India and to Covax at the same time.
The attack is believed to be in retaliation to the earlier killing of two fighters by villagers, said the interior minister.
News of the latest attacks on two villages in Niger was confirmed by the government to the French RFI news outlet.
Travel by motorbike has been banned in the region for a year, as part of efforts to stop incursions by Islamic militants, who often launch attacks from the vehicles. A landlocked state located in the heart of the Sahel, Niger is also being hammered by jihadists from Nigeria, the cradle of a decade-old insurgency launched by Boko Haram.
The attack occurred on the day of the announcement of the preliminary results of the first round of the presidential election in Niger, which saw former Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum leading.