Boko Haram attacks kill 7 Niger villagers near Nigeria border
Niamey, Mar 24: Boko Haram jihadists killed at least seven villagers in a series of attacks in southeastern Niger near the border with Nigeria, a local official and an NGO said on Sunday.
The attackers carried out three separate raids overnight Saturday, said a senior official in the Diffa region, which borders northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram's base. In the course of the raids they killed seven people, abducted two women and burned down a market and several houses, the official said.
Alternative Espace Citoyen, a group active in the region, posted a message on Facebook saying there had been four attacks in which 11 people had been killed. Already last Thursday, a Boko Haram attack in Karidi, a village on the border with Nigeria, killed eight people including one woman, according to local officials.
On March 9, jihadists killed nine Niger soldiers in an attack in the same area. And another seven soldiers perished last month in a Boko Haram attack on their position near the border.
Earlier this month, the authorities in Niger said they had killed 33 Boko Haram fighters in an operation in the region. Diffa, which borders northeastern Nigeria, has suffered a string of cross-border raids.
An estimated 27,000 people have been killed and two million displaced since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009. Lake Chad, which straddles parts of Niger, Nigeria and Chad, has borne the brunt of the jihadists' hit-and-run attacks.