The attack comes days after gunmen killed 137 people in coordinated raids on villages in the southwest, one of the deadliest days in recent memory in a country ravaged by violence.

A Nigerien soldier stands guard near a camp in the city of Diffa, during the visit of Niger's Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum following attacks by Boko Haram fighters in the region, in  Niger on June 18, 2016.
A Nigerien soldier stands guard near a camp in the city of Diffa, during the visit of Niger's Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum following attacks by Boko Haram fighters in the region, in Niger on June 18, 2016. (Reuters)

At least 11 people have been killed in attacks on two villages in the Tillaberi region of southwest Niger, local officials said.

Armed "bandits" burned a school and killed three people in the village of Zibane and seven in Gabado, a local source said.

Security forces are making checks at the scene and the death toll could rise, the source said. It is not clear who carried out the attack.

Gunmen killed 137 people in coordinated raids on villages in the southwest on Sunday, one of the deadliest days in recent memory in a country ravaged by violence.

Those attacks were a few hundred miles away from Wednesday's incident.

READ MORE: Scores killed in second militant attack in southwest Niger this week

Violence in Sahel region

Daesh terror group’s local affiliate is active in the zone and has been blamed for previous attacks that killed dozens of civilians and soldiers.

The violence is part of a wider security crisis across West Africa’s Sahel region, which is also fuelled by militants linked to al Qaeda and ethnic militias. 

The Tillaberi region has been frequently targeted by terrorist groups based in Mali since 2017, with a state of emergency declared in the area.

Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali in the Sahel are at the epicentre of one of the world's fastest-growing displacement and protection crises.

The region hosts 851,000 refugees and nearly 2 million displaced people, according to the UN refugee agency.

Suspected militants also killed at least 100 civilians on January 2 in raids on two villages in Tillaberi, one of the deadliest episodes in the country’s recent history.

READ MORE: Dozens killed in two separate attacks in Niger's Tillaberi region

Source: TRTWorld and agencies