At least nine killed in extremist attack on Niger refugee camp

Photo: Balima Boureima/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

On Wednesday, a group of heavily armed extremists targeted a refugee camp in the Tahoua region of western Niger, resulting in the death of nine people, according to a local official.

The attackers arrived on motorcycles, opened fire on the camp, and then fled back to neighboring Mali. Six individuals have been reported missing, with one injured.

The attack has been confirmed by a security source, but no further details have been provided.

Tahoua, located on the border between Niger and Burkina Faso, has been repeatedly targeted by extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS since 2017.

In March 2021, the region was the site of a mass killing of 141 civilians. In May, 16 soldiers from Niger were killed in an ambush, and 35 civilians were killed in another extremist attack in November.

The Tahoua region currently houses over 61,000 refugees from Mali, according to the United Nations. With the recent departure of French soldiers from Mali and a planned pullout from Burkina Faso, the number of troops available to fight extremist groups in the Sahel region will be reduced to only 3,000 in Niger and Chad.

All of the affected countries are former French colonies.