The attack took place in the Koure giraffe reserve, an hour’s drive from the city of Niamey in the south-east of the country. The region’s governor said six tourists killed in the savage gun attack were from France. Their guide and driver, both Nigerians, were also killed.
They said: “Most of the victims were shot and a woman who managed to escape was arrested and slaughtered.
“On site, we found a magazine emptied of its cartridges. ”
“We don’t know the identity of the attackers, but they came by motorbike through the bush and waited for the arrival of tourists. ”
The governor of the Tillaberi region, where Koure is located, has confirmed the tragic news.
Governor Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella declared: “There are eight dead – two Nigeriens including a guide and a driver, the other six are French”.
He added: “We are managing the situation. We will give more information later. ”
Mr. Katiella did not give further details on the circumstances of the attack.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was working to verify the reports.
The group was gunned down around 11:30 a.m. local time, according to a source.
The reserve is a famous tourist attraction and hailed as a well-preserved area where tourists can see giraffes wandering in their natural habitat.
Niger is home to the last remaining population of West African giraffe, also known as the Niger giraffe.
The giraffe subspecies is distinguished by its light spots.
Koure is popular with foreign tourists looking for an authentic West African safari experience where they can get up close to the declining species.
A traveler who visited the reserve said it offered “one of the last chances to encounter such large animals in their natural environment.”
This is breaking news… More to follow…