According to government officials, at least 70 soldiers were killed in a militant attack on a military base in In-Atès (Tillabéri region), near the border with Mali, on Tuesday evening (local time), December 10. As of Wednesday evening, December 11, no group has claimed responsibility for the assault, though jihadists linked with the Islamic State (IS) group are reportedly active in the area.
A heightened security presence, particularly near the border, as well as associated transportation disruptions are to be expected around the site of the attack. Similar militant operations are possible in the region over the near term.
Officials extended the state of emergency in place for the Tillabéry and Tahoua regions for three additional months starting on September 18, as the regions continue to face attacks targeting refugee camps and security forces. Associated measures - including curfews and expanded military powers - are therefore to remain in effect until at least mid-December.
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.
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.