A new massacre of civilians has been carried out in western Niger, near Mali, by suspected jihadists, killing at least 37 people, bringing the death toll in this region to more than 450 since the start of the war. year.

This killing, committed Monday, August 16, affected the village of Darey-Daye, already targeted in March, located in the region of Tillabéri, in the area known as the “three borders” between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, theater regular jihadist violence. The village is located 40 km east of the town of Bani Bangou, capital of the department of the same name.

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“The attack took place in Darey-Daye around 3 p.m. (4 p.m., in Paris) Monday “By armed men who came on motorbikes” who fired “On people cultivating their fields”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) a local elected official, specifying that “The toll is heavy: there were 37 dead, including four women and thirteen minors”. Four women were also injured.

A reporter from the area confirmed the attack, which he described “Like very bloody” : “They found the victims in their field and they shot at anything that moved”.

On March 15, suspected jihadists massacred 66 people in attacks in Darey-Daye against vehicles returning from the large weekly market in Bani Bangou.

Since the beginning of the year, suspected jihadists have increased attacks against civilians in the department of Bani Bangou, in the northeast of the Tillabéri region. This region has for several years been the scene of bloody actions by groups linked to Al-Qaida and the Islamic State (IS) organization committed against civilians and soldiers.

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Since the start of the rainy season in June, attacks have mainly targeted civilians working in the fields. August 9, “Armed individuals” had attacked “Populations working in a field” in the village of Falanzandan, in the same department of Bani Bangou, killing fifteen people and injuring two others.

On July 25, fourteen civilians were killed in the village of Wiyé, and three days later, on July 28, nineteen people were massacred in the village of Dèye Koukou, also in this department of Bani Bangou. As in Monday’s attack, the attackers came on motorcycles, and some victims were coldly shot.

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimated last week that more than 420 civilians have been killed since the start of the year in western Niger in attacks by jihadist groups, which have also forced tens of thousands of people flee their homes. “Armed Islamist groups appear to be waging a war against the civilian population in western Niger. They killed, looted and burned, sowing death and destruction in their wake and shattering lives ”, according to Corinne Dufka, Sahel director at HRW.

According to official reports, 307 civilians were massacred between January and March in western Niger: 100 in January in Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadereye, 66 in the attacks of March 15, and 141 on March 21 in localities in the region of Tahoua, also close to Mali.

The regions of Tillabéri and Tahoua remain unstable despite major efforts to try to secure them. In the south-east of the country, Niger also has to deal with the atrocities of the Nigerian jihadists of Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap).

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The World with AFP

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