Six French aid workers and two locals killed in ambush in Niger wildlife park
Gunmen on motorcycles killed six French aid workers, a Nigerien guide and a driver in a wildlife park in Niger on Sunday, officials said.
The group were attacked in a giraffe reserve 65km (40 miles) from the west African country’s capital, Niamey, the governor of Tillaberi region, Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, told Reuters. “They were intercepted and killed,” he said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the assault, but France and other countries have warned people against travelling to parts of Niger where militant groups including Boko Haram and an affiliate of Islamic State still operate.
Emmanuel Macron’s office confirmed that French nationals had been killed in Niger. It emerged they worked for the ACTED relief organisation. Macron’s office said the French president had spoken on the phone with his Nigerien counterpart, Mahamadou Issoufou, but provided no further details.
The Association of Koure Giraffe Reserve Guides issued a statement describing the attackers as a “unit of terrorists” and said the dead included its president, Kadri Abdou.
France’s TF1 television channel broadcast images that it said were taken from the scene showing the burnt-out remains of a 4x4 vehicle with bullet holes in the side.
The reserve is a popular tourist attraction in Niger, a huge country that borders seven states in an unstable region including Libya, Mali, Chad, Algeria and Nigeria.
Militants linked to Islamic State killed four US soldiers in an ambush in Niger near the border with Mali in October 2017, an attack that increased scrutiny of US counter-terrorism operations ...
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