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26 Nov 2019 | 08:45 AM UTC

Niger: At least five village chiefs killed in Tillabéri November 21-23

At least five village chiefs killed by suspected jihadist militants in Tillabéri November 21-23; similar attacks likely over the near term



At least five traditional village chiefs have been killed by suspected jihadist militants in the Tillabéri region between Thursday, November 21, and Saturday, November 23.

An increased security presence is expected in the area.


Over the last months the regions along the Malian border have seen an increase in attacks targeting traditional village chiefs. The attacks are understood as part of a wider strategy by militants of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) to limit the influence of the state's presence in the region.

Officials extended the state of emergency in effect in Tillabéri and Tahoua regions for three additional months on September 18. Associated measures - e.g. curfews, expanded military powers, etc. - are therefore to remain in effect until at least mid-December.

Niger faces a high terrorist threat, 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.