Armed police in Niamey: In 2020, several French citizens were killed near Niger's capital
Photo: Arne Immanuel Bänsch / dpa
Several French people were killed in a terrorist attack in Niger in 2020.
Now the French armed forces have reportedly killed one of those responsible.
The jihadist Soumana Boura was a leading member of the terrorist organization "Islamic State" in the Sahel region (ISGS).
The French army announced that he had been "neutralized" with an air attack near Tillabéri.
The man killed led a group of a few dozen fighters.
The ISGS is an important offshoot of the IS.
He is mainly held responsible for attacks in the Sahel states of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.
The Sahel zone extends south of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea.
A number of armed groups are active here, some have sworn allegiance to IS or Al-Qaeda.
In August 2020, heavily armed offenders on motorcycles attacked six French and two Nigerien in a nature park east of Niamey. Almost all of the victims worked for an aid organization. IS took responsibility for the deadly attack. The now killed Boura was, according to the French army, one of the attackers. According to the information, the Islamist had filmed the murder of the victims and directed the publication of the recordings.
As a former colonial power in Niger and neighboring Mali, France is a leader in the fight against Islamist rebels, who are connected to the IS militia and the Islamist organization Al-Qaeda.
The Bundeswehr is also active in Mali as part of the UN peacekeeping force Minusma and a European training mission.
Seven UN blue helmet soldiers were only killed there at the beginning of December.
As in Mali, the government in Niger has little control over the desert-like expanses outside the cities.
The country with 23 million inhabitants ranks last out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
There have been repeated fatal attacks over the past few months.
The terrorists are increasingly targeting the civilian population.
asc / dpa / Reuters / AFP