Niger: More than 100 dead civilians in village attacks

Attackers on motorbikes swept through two villages in western Niger, leaving scores dead in each, a local mayor said on Sunday.
The attacks, on the villages of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye in the jihadi-plagued Tillaberi region, are only the latest in a string of massacres of civilians. They took place as first-round national presidential results were announced.
Almou Hassane, the mayor of the Tondikiwindi commune that administers both villages, said the attacks were waged by “terrorists who came riding about 100 motorcycles.”
“There were up to 70 dead in Tchoma Bangou and 30 dead in Zaroumadareye,” Hassane told the AFP news agency, adding he had just returned from the scene of the attacks.
About 75 other people were injured with some requiring treatment in the capital, Niamey, and the town of Ouallam. The villages lie about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Niamey and are close to the border with Mali.
The attack is believed to be in retaliation to the earlier killing of two fighters by villagers, after young people from the area tried to form a self-defense group.
Niger has seen a rise in attacks by those groups vying for territory and hundreds of people have been killed over the past year.

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