The Government of Niger raised to 137 the death toll in the massacre committed on Sunday in the region of Tahoua (bordering Mali), and also reported a large number of wounded, according to the balance issued Monday night.
The perpetrators of the massacre, which took place simultaneously in three villages in central Niger: Intazayane, Bakorate and Akifakif, where the attackers arrived on motorcycles and fired at point-blank range at their inhabitants, are still unknown. A military contingent managed to reach one of the three places attacked and there they engaged in a firefight with the attackers who were trying to retreat towards Mali.
Although there is no claim so far, all observers agree that the massacre has the “stamp” of other attacks perpetrated by the jihadists, active in this area thanks to their close proximity to their safe havens in neighboring Mali.
Last week, 58 farmers returning from a local market in Banibangou, Ouallam department, in the western region of Tillabéry, were coldly murdered in another similar attack, after intercepting on a road the three vehicles in which the farmers were returning.
The government has decreed a three-day official mourning period beginning this Tuesday.
Sunday’s massacre took place on the same day that the Constitutional Court of Niger proclaimed the victory of Mohamed Bazoum in the presidential elections of last February 21 with 55.66% of votes, ahead of his rival Mahamane Ousmane.