2021 Niger attacks
|2021 Niger attacks|
|Part of the insurgency in the Maghreb and the Boko Haram insurgency|
|Location||Tillabéri Region, Tahoua Region and Diffa Region, Niger|
The 2021 Niger attacks are an ongoing series of attacks by militants on civilians and soldiers in Niger, mainly in the western region of Tillabéri. The attacks have left 357 people dead and at least 88 others injured.
Several major attacks occurred in Niger during the 2010s and 2020. However, this is the first time that over 100 civilians were killed in single incidents, marking the January attack and 21 March attack as the deadliest against civilians in the country since the insurgency in the Maghreb began. It is the first year in which attacks were carried out with frequency in the country. The previous biggest attack in Niger against civilians was the 12 December 2020 Toumour attack, which resulted in 28 people killed. Both the December 2020 and January 2021 attacks were carried out during Niger's municipal and regional elections, while the February bombing specifically targeted members of the electoral commission.
The January attacks occurred in two villages, Tchombangou (at  On 8 January UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman said that 73 people had been killed in the village of Tchouma Bangou and 32 in Zaroumdareye, making the total death toll 105. The government of Niger dispatched soldiers to the border after the attacks. The attackers are Islamist militants who arrived in the villages while crossing the border from Mali; however, the exact terrorist organization who carried out the attacks is not clear so far.) and Zaroumdareye (at ), which are seven kilometres apart, and initially left 79 people dead and 75 wounded. Of the deceased victims, 49 were killed in Tchombangou and 30 in Zaroumdareye. A day after the attack, 21 more people were found dead and others succumbed to their injuries on Tchombangou, bringing the total death toll to 100.
Some time before the massacre, two militants who were seen in the area were killed by the local villagers. Those attacks are suspected to be in retaliation for those killings, according to the country's interior minister.
On 21 February, seven members of the electoral commission were killed and three others wounded in a landmine explosion in Tillabéri. The attack was carried out on the same day of the presidential election's second round.
On 21 March, militants riding motorbikes attacked Intazayene, Bakorat and Wistan, three villages in the Tahoua Region close to the Malian border, killing 137 people. The death toll would make the attack the deadliest committed by suspected jihadists in Niger's history. Newly elected President Mohamed Bazoum condemned the attacks and declared three days of national mourning.
On 24 March, at least 10 people were killed during attacks at two villages in the Tillabéri Region.
On 18 April, at least 19 civilians were killed and two wounded when armed men raid a village in Tillabéri Region.
On 3 May, a military patrol was ambushed in the Tahoua Region, resulting in the killing of 16 soldiers and the wounding of six more. It was the first attack against soldiers in the country since the beginning of the year.
On 30 May, four civilians and four soldiers were killed during a raid carried out by Boko Haram militants in the town of Diffa, in the Diffa Region. The jihadists attacked the town in the late afternoon, riding in about 15 vehicles, but were pushed back by responding security forces during a long gunfight, in which six attackers were killed.
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