Gunmen on bikes killed six French support employees, a Nigerien information and a driver in a wildlife park in Niger on Sunday, officers stated.
The group was attacked in a giraffe reserve simply 65 km (40 miles) from the West African nation’s capital Niamey, the governor of Tillaberi area, Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, instructed Reuters. “They had been intercepted and killed,” he stated.
The six labored for a world support group, Niger’s Defence Minister Issoufou Katambé instructed Reuters. Officers had earlier described them as vacationers.
Individually, a spokesman for French humanitarian support group ACTED stated its workers members had been concerned.
Nobody instantly claimed accountability for the assault. However France and different international locations have warned folks in opposition to travelling to components of Niger the place militants together with Boko Haram and an affiliate of Islamic State function.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s workplace confirmed that French nationals had been killed in Niger. It stated Macron spoke on the telephone with Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, however offered no additional particulars.
The Affiliation of Koure Giraffe Reserve Guides issued an announcement describing the attackers as a “unit of terrorists” and saying the useless included its president, Kadri Abdou.
France’s TF1 tv channel broadcast photos that it stated had been taken from the scene exhibiting the burnt-out stays of a 4×4 automobile with bullet holes within the facet.
The reserve southeast of the capital is a well-liked attraction in Niger, an enormous nation that borders seven states in an unstable area together with Libya, Mali, Chad, Algeria and Nigeria.
Militants linked to Islamic State killed 4 U.S. troopers in an ambush in Niger close to the border with Mali in Oct. 2017, an assault that elevated scrutiny of U.S. counter-terrorism operations there.
France, a former colonial energy within the area, additionally launched a coalition of West African and European allies in June to struggle Islamist militants within the Sahel area that features Niger.
It has deployed hundreds of troops within the arid area south of the Sahara desert since 2013. However militant violence has been on the rise.