A motorcycle gang shot dead six tourists at a wildlife park in the African country of Niger earlier today, a senior official has said.
Among the dead were six French tourists and two Nigeriens.
The attackers struck in a giraffe reserve in the West African country’s Koure area, the governor of Tillaberi, Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, said.
It is understood the two Nigeriens were working as the tourists’ guide and driver, AFP news agency reported.
A French foreign ministry official said it was making checks into reports of the attack.
There was no immediate comment from the government in Niger.
The French government warns people against travelling to large parts of Niger where militant groups including Boko Haram and affiliates of Islamic State operate.
Koure Giraffe Reserve, southeast of the capital Niamey, is a popular attraction in Niger, a huge country that borders seven countries in an unstable region including Libya, Mali, Chad and Nigeria.
Militants linked to Islamic State killed four U.S. soldiers in an ambush in Niger in Oct. 2017, an attack that increased
scrutiny of the U.S. counter-terrorism operations there.
France, a former colonial power in the region, also launched a coalition of West African and European allies in June to fight Islamist militants in the Sahel region that includes Niger.
It has deployed thousands of troops in the arid region south of the Sahara desert since 2013.
But violence by groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State has been on the rise.
In June, Boko Haram killed 69 people in an attack on a Nigerian village.
Attackers reportedly stormed the village of Felo in the West African country in the early afternoon on Tuesday, killing 69 people, the head of anti-jihadist militia Babakura Kolo, confirmed to AFP.
AFP, a French news agency, claimed the attack was confirmed by local militia and a local village chief.
They arrived in vehicles and on motorcycles, shooting with AK-47s, razing the village and stealing 1,200 cattle and camels, according to reports.
It was reported the attack was in Nigeria’s Borno state and the men attacked the village known locally as Faduma Koloram, in Gubio local government area, starting about noon.
Source Daily Star – World News