More than a dozen people were killed in the attack in western Niger

Fifteen people have been killed in an attack in western Niger less than two weeks after 33 people were killed by suspected jihadists in the same area, officials said on Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the latest attack was carried out on Monday by “unidentified gunmen” targeting “people working in a field” in the Banibangou region, near the Mali border.

Banibangou falls into the so-called three-border region between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, which for years has been the site of bloody attacks by jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Two attacks accused of jihadists in late July left 33 people dead and prompted the Interior Ministry to promise tougher security measures in the region and to bring the killers to justice.

Authorities have made similar promises in the past, but the deadly attacks have continued, often carried out by armed men on motorcycles fleeing Mali after their raids.

Some 1,200 Chadian troops are deployed in the border region as part of a multinational force formed by the G5 Sahel group, which consists of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.



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