Gunmen kill six French tourists, their driver and guide in Niger

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Six French tourists and two Nigerians killed by gunmen on motorcycles in Niger wildlife park

  • Gunmen on bicycles killed six French tourists and their Nigerien guide and driver
  • The group was attacked in a giraffe reserve in Niger’s Kouré region, sources say
  • French government warns population against displacement in large parts of Niger where militant groups, including Boko Haram and an Islamic State affiliate, operate

Gunmen on motorcycles killed six French tourists and their Nigerien guide and driver today in a wildlife park, a senior official and security source said.

The group was attacked in a giraffe reserve in Niger’s Kouré region, Tillaberi region governor Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella said.

“They were intercepted and killed,” he added, confirming that six French and two Nigeriens died. A Nigerien security source said the Nigeriens were a guide and driver.

The office of French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that French nationals have been killed in Niger. He said Macron spoke on the phone with Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, but provided no further details.

There was no immediate comment from the Nigerien government.

Pictured: The car where six French tourists, their local guide and the driver were killed by an unidentified gunman on a motorcycle on August 9, 2020 in a region of southwestern Niger

The group was attacked in a giraffe reserve in the Kouré region, a West African country, Tillaberi region governor Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella said.

The French government is warning the population against displacement in large parts of Niger where militant groups, including Boko Haram and a subsidiary of the Islamic State, operate.

The Koure Giraffe Reserve, about 40 miles southeast of the capital Niamey, is a popular attraction in Niger, a huge country that borders seven states in an unstable region comprising Libya, Mali, Chad, Algeria and Nigeria.

Activists linked to the Islamic State killed four US soldiers in an ambush in Niger in October 2017, an attack that tightened control over US counterterrorism operations there.

France, the region’s former colonial power, also launched a coalition of West African and European allies in June to fight Islamist militants in the Sahel region which includes Niger.

It has deployed thousands of troops in the arid region south of the Sahara Desert since 2013. But militant violence is on the rise.

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