Five villagers were killed in Niger in an attack attributed to the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram in the commune of Gueskérou (southeast) close to Nigeria, the mayor of this commune told AFP on Thursday. "It was the BH (Boko Haram) who arrived Wednesday night in Ngaroua-Gana and killed five men with gunshots and wounded four others before leaving with a hostage," said Ousseini Boukar, the mayor of Gueskérou. The attack targeted Ngaroua-Gana, a village bordering the Komadougou River where the Islamist fighters "certainly swam," he said.
This river, which serves as a natural border between Niger and Nigeria, has its source in Nigeria and stretches along the 150 km separating the two states before flowing into Lake Chad, a vast area full of islets and swamps serving as refuge for the Islamic State group in West Africa (Iswap, resulting from a split of Boko Haram). The Gueskérou area and the entire Diffa region (south-eastern Niger) has been exposed for five years to the murderous raids of the Nigerian jihadists of Boko Haram and those of Iswap.
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In late August 2019, 12 villagers were killed in a village in Gueskérou commune during an attack attributed to Boko Haram. Eleven of the victims had been executed by bullets and another had been slaughtered, according to local authorities. Diffa, the regional capital of 200,000 inhabitants on the border with Nigeria, was attacked four times last May when at least 12 Nigerien soldiers were killed in the attack on the Blabrine post, northeast of Diffa , close to Chad. Diffa shelters according to the UN 300,000 Nigerian and displaced refugees, fleeing since 2015 the atrocities of the jihadists.
Niger also faces in the West, on its borders with Mali and Burkina, frequent attacks by jihadist groups in the Sahel, including the Islamic State in the Grand Sahara (EIGS).