2021 Niger attacks

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2021 Niger attacks
Part of the insurgency in the Maghreb and the Boko Haram insurgency
Tillaberi in Niger.svg
Tillabéri Region, Niger, site of the majority of the attacks
LocationTillabéri Region, Tahoua Region and Diffa Region, Niger
Coordinates14°49′48″N 01°48′45″E / 14.83000°N 1.81250°E / 14.83000; 1.81250Coordinates: 14°49′48″N 01°48′45″E / 14.83000°N 1.81250°E / 14.83000; 1.81250
Date2 January
21 February
16 March
21 March
24 March
18 April
3 May
12 May
30 May
DeathsJanuary: 105
February: 7
March: 205
April: 19
May: 29
Total: 357
InjuredJanuary: 75
February: 3
April: 2
May: 8
Total: 88+

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.[1] 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.[2]

On the same day as the January attacks, two Algerian soldiers were killed in a shooting in Algeria and two French soldiers were killed in a bombing in Mali.[3][4]



The January attacks occurred in two villages, Tchombangou (at 14°49′48″N 01°48′45″E / 14.83000°N 1.81250°E / 14.83000; 1.81250) and Zaroumdareye (at 14°54′21″N 01°46′36″E / 14.90583°N 1.77667°E / 14.90583; 1.77667), 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.[2] 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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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.[8]


On 21 February, seven members of the electoral commission were killed and three others wounded in a landmine explosion in Tillabéri.[9] The attack was carried out on the same day of the presidential election's second round.[10]


On 16 March, armed men on motorcycles attacked a convoy returning from a market in Banibangou by the Malian border to a nearby village in Southwestern Niger's Tillabéri Region, killing 58 people.[11]

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.[12] The death toll would make the attack the deadliest committed by suspected jihadists in Niger's history.[13] Newly elected President Mohamed Bazoum condemned the attacks and declared three days of national mourning.[14][15][16]

On 24 March, at least 10 people were killed during attacks at two villages in the Tillabéri Region.[17]


On 18 April, at least 19 civilians were killed and two wounded when armed men raid a village in Tillabéri Region.[18]


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[citation needed] since the beginning of the year.[19]

On 12 May, five villagers were killed and two more wounded after militants stormed the village of Fantio, in the Tillabéri region, during Eid al-Fitr celebrations.[20]

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.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dozens of civilians killed in terrorist attack in Niger". TRT World. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Niger: More than 100 dead civilians in village attacks | DW | 03.01.2021". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Two French soldiers killed in Mali: French presidency". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  4. ^ "4 militants, 2 soldiers killed in clashes in northern Algeria - Xinhua | English.news.cn". Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Death Toll in Niger Village Massacre Rises to 105". The Defense Post. 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  6. ^ Niamey, Reuters in (2 January 2021). "At least 70 killed in suspected Islamist attacks in Niger". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  7. ^ "'Many Civilians' Killed in Niger Gun Attack | Voice of America - English". Voice of America. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Niger village attacks killed 100, says prime minister". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Seven election officials killed in landmine blast as Niger votes". Al Jazeera English. 21 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Seven Niger election officials killed by landmine on poll day". BBC News. 21 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Armed men attack passenger convoy in Niger, kill 58". www.abc.net.au. 2021-03-16. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  12. ^ Niamey, AFP in (2021-03-22). "Suspected jihadists attack villages in Niger killing at least 137 people". the Guardian. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  13. ^ "Suspected jihadists attack villages in Niger killing at least 137 people". The Guardian. Agence France Press. 22 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  14. ^ Reuters staff (22 March 2021). "Death toll from attack on Niger villages soars to 137". Reuters. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Gunmen on motorbikes raid Niger villages, kill at least 137". Al Jazeera. 22 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Niger announces three days of mourning after 137 killed in attack on villages". The National (Abu Dhabi). 23 March 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  17. ^ At least 10 killed in southern Niger attacks: security source
  18. ^ "At least 19 people killed in west Niger attack". Al Jazeera English. 18 April 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  19. ^ "Sixteen soldiers killed in western Niger ambush". Al Jazeera English. 3 May 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Niger: 5 people killed during Ramadan celebrations in Tillabéri region". Africa News. 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  21. ^ "Boko Haram militants kill 8 in southeastern Niger, says defence ministry". Reuters. 30 May 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.