According to a government statement, 14 security force members were killed in a militant attack in Sanam on Wednesday evening (local time), December 25. Military police officers along with members of the national guard were escorting election officials when they were reportedly ambushed by Islamic extremists on motorcycles. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
A heightened security presence 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.
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.