At least 100 people were killed by Islamic extremists who targeted their villages in Niger, officials announced on Sunday.
Nigerien villages Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye were attacked after locals killed two militants on the day it was announced that the West African nation’s presidential elections will go to a second round, The Associated Press reported.
“We came to provide moral support and present the condolences of the president of the republic, the government and the entire Niger nation,” Nigerien Prime Minister Brigi Rafin said, the AP reported.
At least a hundred people were killed in two villages in western Niger, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said, following a suspected militant attack during the weekend https://t.co/8S94ch5KNc pic.twitter.com/Z9RzlCrK4M
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 4, 2021
Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by the attacks even with thousands of regional and international troops stationed throughout the country.
Even with the increasing jihadist threat to the country, Niger is expected to complete its first democratic transition of leadership since it gained independence in 1960, according to the AP. Around 7.5 million Nigeriens were registered to vote on Dec. 27.
Current Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou has served two terms and is stepping down. The second round of elections will happen after none of the 28 candidates secured a majority.
Former Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum is scheduled to challenge former President Mahamane Ousmane on Feb. 21.
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