Attack by "unidentified armed individuals" targeted "people working in a field" in the Banibangou region, close to the Mali border, says Interior Ministry.
Deadly attacks are common in the Sahel countries, as is banditry. And in the vast areas outside of state control, the militants often levy taxes in the form of livestock.
France's armed forces minister said that Paris decided to resume joint military operations with Mali as well as national advisory missions, which had been suspended since June 3.
The attack came a week after two Spanish journalists and an Irish conservationist were killed in an ambush by militants in the same region.
UN says people need humanitarian assistance, noting “unparallelled” insecurity and hunger as violent attacks increased eightfold in Central Sahel and tripled in Lake Chad Basin from 2015 to 2020.
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.
At least 50 people are believed to have been killed in two separate raids in Niger's Tillaberi region. Attacks are not immediately confirmed by Niger authorities.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said military operations should keep focusing on the region bordering Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in a summit with West African leaders.
The victim's bodies were brought back from Mopti region to the airport in Sevare, near the town of Mopti, by a helicopter from the UN's MINUSMA peacekeeping force, while the injured were taken to hospital, local officials said.
France joins a tiny group of countries that use armed drones, including the United States.
A French-drafted resolution was adopted which will lead to the deployment of a 5,000-strong African force in the Sahel region to fight militants.
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