Boko Haram insurgents kidnap 37 women, kill 9 in Niger

The throats of nine people were slit and security forces are in hot pursuit. The village had apparently been singled out because it was known for its resistance to the militants.

Photo by: AFP Archive
Photo by: AFP Archive

Boko Haram militants have attacked the village of Ngalewa, near the border with Nigeria, kidnapping 37 and killing 9. (AFP Archive Photo)

Boko Haram fighters have kidnapped 37 women and killed nine other people at a village in southeastern Niger, the regional governor said on Tuesday.

The attack happened on Sunday at the village of Ngalewa, near the border with Nigeria, the governor of Diffa region, Laouali Mahamane Dan Dano, told state TV.

"Boko Haram elements ... slit the throats of nine people ... they took women, 37 women, and departed with them," he said.

"The defence and security forces are already in pursuit, and we hope that in the coming days these women will be found and freed," he said.

The governor, who went to Ngalewa on Monday, said the village had been singled out because it was known for its resistance to the militants.

Assailtants come by foot 

The assailants came by foot for greater stealth, he said.

Speaking by phone, the village mayor, Abari El Hadj Daouda, said that the attack happened on Sunday evening, "between 10 and 11pm."

The village lies a few kilometres north of the town of Kabalewa, where there was a suicide attack last Wednesday.

Diffa, which has a population of around 600,000 people, has suffered a string of attacks by the Nigeria-based Boko Haram since 2015.

Around 300,000 people displaced by terror attacks have taken refuge in the region, which already grapples with grinding poverty.

In April 2014, Boko Haram militants seized 276 schoolgirls from the remote northeast Nigerian town of Chibok, triggering global condemnation and drawing attention to the bloody Boko Haram insurgency.

Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath. Of the 219 who did not manage to flee, 106 have either been released or found, leaving 113 still missing.

The attack on Sunday coincided with French President Emmanuel Macron,'s visit to Niger's western neighbour Mali, aimed at boosting multinational efforts to fight militants in countries south of the Sahara.

 

Source: 
AFP