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22 Feb 2020 | 12:34 AM UTC

Niger: Joint military operations ongoing in Tillabéri region as of February 21

Nigerien and French military forces are conducting joint military operations in Tillabéri region; at least 120 suspected terrorists killed as of February 21

security
NER

Event

The Nigerien Ministry of Defense announced on Friday, February 21, that at least 120 suspected terrorists have been killed during joint military operations this month. French and Nigerien troops have been conducting operations in Tillabéri region since February 1, targeting suspected militant groups in between Inatès, Tongo Tongo, and Tilowa. At least ten vehicles and bomb making material has also been seized during the missions.

Joint operations are expected to continue in Tillabéri region over the near term.

Context

French Defense Minister Florence Parly announced on February 2 that 600 additional soldiers will be deployed into the Sahel to join Operation Barkhane, increasing the number of troops to 5100 in the region.

Niger faces a high threat from terrorism, including armed attacks and abductions. Militant Islamist cells from various Nigerian and Malian terrorist groups - including Boko Haram, Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Al-Mourabitoun - are all active in the country.

Advice

Individuals throughout Niger should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (e.g. government buildings, prominent hotels, etc.) and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.

Many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to areas located in the north and west of the country, including areas along the border with Burkina Faso, as well as areas along the Nigerian border to the south, due to the high risk of terrorist activity.