Niger’s government has announced plans to ramp up military presence in a region in which more than 100 civilians were killed in an attack by gunmen over the weekend.
Niger aims to permanently set up a company in the affected province, said the commander in charge, Mamane Sani.
Sani spoke after visiting the site of Saturday’s attack on two villages near the border with Mali together with Prime Minister Brigi Rafini.
He said more than 100 people were killed in the attack on two villages – Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye – with around 30 others injured.
According to Sani, no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Terrorist groups that have pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda or the militant group, Islamic State (IS), are active in Niger and other countries in the region.
The government has little control over the desert-like expanses outside the cities, a fact exploited by both jihadist groups and criminal networks.
Niger is one of the most important transit countries for African migrants, who want to reach Europe via the Mediterranean.
Together with Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Burkina Faso, Niger is part of the G5 Sahel group that has pledged to fight terrorist groups. (dpa/NAN)