Seven Children Killed in Niger by the Nigerian Army

[Photo: BBC NEWS]

International Media report that seven children have been killed in Niger in an air strike by the Nigerian army targeting bandits.

Governor Chaibou Aboubacar says the four were killed instantly and three died on their way to hospital. 

Five more children were hurt in the strike.

The governor says the attack happened in Nachade village, as Nigerian officials have opened an investigation into the matter.

The victims’ parents were attending a ceremony and the children were probably playing when the air strike hit them,” said Aboubacar.

According to the governor, the planes were targeting armed gangs in the region around the border between the two countries, however missed their target and hit Nachade village in the area of Madarounfa.

Niger and Nigeria have been conducting joint military operations against armed gangs responsible for a wave of kidnappings and killings in the region.

Since 2018 Niger has reinforced military patrols along its border with Nigeria to prevent incursions of the gangs.

The region has been seriously affected by violence occasioned by heavily armed gangs from the Nigerian states of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara.

International Crisis Group (ICG) says it fears a third jihadist centre could emerge in the region.

Niger is facing a number of jihadist fronts including; the Nigerian group Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa which are operating in south-east, while the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda have been reported in the west.

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