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DECEMBER 2021

Dozens Killed In Terrorists Attacks In Nigeria and Niger

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Dozens Killed In Terrorists Attacks In Nigeria and Niger

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On October 17th, gunmen from a “suspected criminal gang” attacked a village market in northwest Nigeria’s Sokoto state, killing 43 people.

Heavily armed terrorists, which Nigerian authorities call “bandits” continue terrorizing northwest and central Nigeria, with the violence ramping up in recent months.

“Forty-three people have been confirmed dead following the attack by bandits in Goronyo village”, Sokoto government spokesman Muhammad Bello said in a statement.

“It was a market day and there were many traders,” Bello told AFP by phone.

Police spokesman Sanusi Abubakar also confirmed that bandits attacked Goronyo late in the day.

Officials in Sokoto are worried that terrorists are relocating to the state as a result of operations in Zamfara.

“We’re faced and bedevilled by many security challenges in our own area here, particularly banditry, kidnapping and other associated crimes,” wrote Bello, on behalf of the state governor.

Last month 17 Nigerian security personnel were killed when gunmen attacked their base in Sabon Birni, an assault the military blamed on ISIS-aligned jihadists.

Separately, on October 18th, jihadists attacked a police post overnight in Niger’s troubled frontier zone with Burkina Faso killing three policemen and wounding seven others.

Since 2017, jihadist groups have rocked the Tillaberi region, a vast area covering 100,000 square kilometres (38,000 square miles) near the borders with Mali and Burkina Faso.

The flashpoint area is frequently targeted by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims.

“There was an attack on a border checkpoint at Petelkole,” an elected official from Tillaberi said.

“Two policemen died and seven were injured.”

Another official who visited the site later said the body of a third policemen had been found.

Petelkole is a western border post located merely 10 kilometres from Burkina Faso, which is also facing a wave of jihadist attacks.

The first official said the attackers burnt two vehicles and took away weapons.

Niger, a vast landlocked state also bordering Nigeria and Benin to the south, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east, on October 15th opened its first military school in the capital Niamey to train future officers.

President Mohamed Bazoum said his country, notably as a neighbour of troubled Libya, had to act on security needs given its position at the heart of a region prone to terrorist activity.

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