Niamey: At least 40 people were killed when a group of armed assailants attacked several villages in Niger’s Tahoua region near the border with Mali, a government spokesperson said on Monday.
Spokesperson Abdoulraman Zakaria said that soldiers were sent to the region and fought the attackers, reports dpa news agency. It was not known who was behind the attack.
Numerous armed groups are active in Niger and in the neighbouring Sahel countries.
Some have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, while others are linked to Al Qaeda.
In the Mali border region there have been recurring attacks. A week ago, at least 58 people were killed in an attack on market traders in the region of Tillaberi, the government said.
Niger has also seen demonstrations after the recent presidential election.
At the end of February, the electoral commission declared former Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum, a close ally of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou, the winner with almost 56 per cent of the vote.
Former President and opposition candidate Mahamane Ousmane slammed the result as fraudulent and claims he is the winner. The Constitutional Court on Sunday confirmed Bazoum’s victory.