At least 27 dead in terror attack in Niger

Human rights organization criticizes lack of protection for civilian population (Press Release)

According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), the civilian population of West Africa is not sufficiently protected from terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists. On Saturday evening, at least 27 people got killed in an attack by Boko Haram fighters on a village in southwestern Niger. About 900 homes and businesses were burned to the ground. The Diffa region is close to the border with Nigeria, where more than 30,000 people have already fallen victim to Boko Haram's terror.

On Saturday night, around 70 Boko Haram fighters had entered the town of Toumour and terrorized the civilian population. They set fire to the central market hall and hundreds of houses, and opened fire indiscriminately. According to Ulrich Delius, the STP's Director, many people from neighboring villages had found refuge in Toumour. "In recent months, many people from the surrounding villages were forced to flee from the increasing attacks of Islamist extremists in the Diffa region. In Toumour, the civilian population had so far managed to defy Boko Haram, despite several attacks.

Boko Haram's terror, which has been going on since 2009, had increasingly spread from northeastern Nigeria to neighboring Niger and Chad in recent years. Southeastern Niger has been regarded as a lawless area for several months now, as the state and its security forces are barely present and the civilian population is not adequately protected.