According to a local official, an explosion occurred near Gueskerou Commune's city-hall (Diffa region) in the morning (local time) on Thursday, February 20 leaving two people dead. The cause of the explosion is unclear, although media sources have reported that it may have been due to a landmine.
A heightened security presence is expected in the area over the coming hours and days. Similar incidents are possible in the Diffa 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.