At least 70 civilians were killed in simultaneous attacks on two villages by suspected Islamist militants in Niger, near the border zone with Mali, security sources said on Saturday.
About 49 villagers were killed and 17 people wounded in the village of Tchombangou, said one of the security sources, who requested anonymity.
A second source, a senior official in Niger’s interior ministry who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that around 30 other villagers had been killed in the village of Zaroumdareye.
Niger’s government was not immediately available to comment.
The West African nation, a former French colony, has previously suffered attacks by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State. Attacks near the western border with Mali and Burkina Faso, and the southeastern border with Nigeria, killed hundreds of people last year.
In August, six French tourists and their local guide and driver were killed by gunmen riding motorcycles in southwestern Niger.
The area is home to the last West African giraffes. It was believed to be the first such attack on tourists in the area, a popular attraction in the country thanks to its unique population of West African or Niger giraffes.