Suspected Boko Haram militants kill nine, abduct dozens in Niger

A Nigerian soldier patrolling in the town of Banki in northeastern Nigeria on June 30, 2017.
A Nigerian soldier patrolling in the town of Banki in northeastern Nigeria on June 30, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants killed nine people and abducted dozens more in southern Niger on Sunday (July 2) night, the local mayor and a journalist said.

The attackers rode camels into the village of Ngalewa, about 50 km (30 miles) 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 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.