Camel-riding Boko Haram militants killed nine people and abducted dozens more in a village in southern Niger on Sunday night, the local mayor and a journalist said.
The attackers rode camels into Ngalewa, about 50 km north of the border with Nigeria – home of the Boko Haram insurgency – said Maman Nour, the director of a community radio station in the nearby town of Kabelawa.
“They killed nine people and they kidnapped around 30,” said Nour, who had spoken to fleeing villagers.
Abba Gata Issa, mayor of the district, confirmed the nine dead and said around 40 women and children had been kidnapped.
Boko Haram launches frequent cross-border raids from its strongholds in northeastern Nigeria and has killed more than 20,000 people during its eight-year insurgency.
Last week, bombers killed two people and wounded 11 others at the Kabelawa, a UN-managed camp in the same region of Niger that houses thousands of people who have fled Boko Haram violence. It was the first suicide attack in Niger’s southern Diffa region in a year and the first-ever attack against the camp.
Niger contributes to the multinational force set up to fight Boko Haram in the region.
The Borno State Emergency Management Agency said on Saturday that Boko Haram fighters have been found among refugees returning to northeast Nigeria from neighboring Cameroon.
“At least nine Boko Haram insurgents and 100 accomplices were identified among 920 Nigerian refugees who returned from Marwa in Cameroon on Wednesday,” the agency’s head, Ahmed Satomi told AFP.
“They were arrested during screening of the returnees at the (Nigerian) border town of Banki by security personnel.”