About 70 people have been killed in attacks by suspected members of the Islamic State (IS) on two villages in Niger Republic.
According to Reuters, the simultaneous attacks were carried out in Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye, villages near the border zone with Mali.
About 49 villagers were killed and 17 people wounded in the village of Tchombangou, a security official reportedly said.
Another source, a senior official in Niger’s interior ministry, also reportedly said around 30 other villagers have been killed in the village of Zaroumdareye.
Niger’s government is yet to comment on the attacks. The authorities, however, have banned travel by motorbike in the region, as part of efforts to check attacks by militants.
The attacks come as President Mahamadou Issoufou steps down after two five-year terms to allow for fresh elections.
Bordered by Nigeria to the south, Niger has also suffered attacks from suspected Boko Haram insurgents.
Both countries have continued to collaborate on the fight against terrorism.
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