The Élysée Palace confirmed on Sunday August 9 that the French were killed in Niger, during an attack carried out by armed men who came on motorcycles in the Kouré area, without giving the number of victims. The presidency of the French Republic also indicated that Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone with his Nigerian counterpart, Mahamadou Issoufou. “There are eight dead: two Nigeriens, including a (tourist) guide, and a driver, the other six are French,” Tillabéri governor Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella told Agence France-Presse. “Among the eight people killed in Niger, several are Acted employees,” said Joseph Breham, lawyer for the NGO, on Sunday evening.
“We are managing the situation, we will give more information later,” said the governor. The Nigerien army crisscrossed the crime zone, a vast wooded area, overflown by French fighter planes. “The Barkhane force provided support at the request of the Nigerien authorities,” a state spokesperson said. – French major, without further details. Forensic officers are taking samples, alongside the firefighters who are preparing to remove the bodies as night falls on the locality, according to the correspondent of Agence France-Presse on the spot. “The attack took place around 11:30 am (10:30 am GMT) 6 km east of the town of Kouré” which is an hour’s drive from Niamey on the national road number 1, explained to Agence France-Presse, for its part, a source close to the environmental services.
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A slaughtered woman
“Most of the victims were shot dead and a woman who managed to escape was caught and slaughtered. On the spot, we found a magazine emptied of its cartridges ”, noted this source. “We do not know the identity of the attackers, but they came on motorcycles through the bush and waited for the arrival of the tourists. The vehicle borrowed by tourists belongs to the NGO Acted ”. This source described to Agence France-Presse the bodies lying, side by side, near a half-burnt 4X4 vehicle with open doors. Traces of bullets were visible on the rear window of the vehicle. One of the bodies was charred. Others had fatal head injuries.
This is the first attack that has targeted Western tourists in this area since it became a tourist attraction some 20 years ago, when a small herd of giraffes peralta, a species that has disappeared from the the rest of the planet, fleeing from poachers and predators, had found a haven of peace there. The Tillabéri region is a large unstable area. It is located in the area of “three borders” between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, which has become a den of Sahelian jihadists, including the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS). Motorcycles have been banned day and night since January in an attempt to prevent the movement of jihadists.