The army reported on Saturday that a police officer and four civilians were murdered in a “complex terrorist attack” in southwest Niger, a region where thousands of people have fled their homes this month to avoid jihadist violence.
According to a statement from the army, the attack happened on Friday afternoon and was directed at “a group of paramilitary police escorting a convoy” along a road close to the Burkina Faso border.
According to the statement, there had been five fatalities and 19 injuries, with seven officers, five soldiers, and seven civilians all transferred to Niamey, the country’s capital.
The announcement read, “Two terrorists were killed on the side of the enemy.”
The attack happened in the southwest Tillaberi region, which is a hub of activity for militants affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization. This territory is on the border of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
According to the UN, there are approximately 150,000 internally displaced persons in the vast, dry region, which is about the size of South Korea.
The UN and regional authorities reported on Wednesday that about 11,000 people had abandoned their homes just this month.
Niger, one of the world’s poorest nations, is furthermore battling terrorist insurgency that has spread into its southeast from northern Nigeria.