Gunmen on motorbikes raid Niger villages, kill at least 137

Attackers on motorbikes have raided several villages in southwestern Niger, killing at least 137 people in the bloodiest violence to hit the country in years, the government said.

The gunmen on Sunday attacked the villages of Intazayene, Bakorat and Wistane, located near the border with Mali, shooting “at everything which moved”, according to a local official.

On Monday, the government said the attacks had left 137 people dead. Local officials have previously given a death toll of at least 60.

“In treating civilian populations systematically as targets now, these armed bandits have gone a step further into horror and brutality,” government spokesman Zakaria Abdourahamane said in a statement read on public television.

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