Gunmen kill 18 in Niger near Mali border

Eighteen people have been killed by gunmen in Niger in an area near the border with Mali that has been the scene of frequent attacks by Islamist militants.

A local official told the French news agency that armed men on motorbikes attacked the village of Dèye Koukou on Wednesday morning.

A similar attack on Sunday, which was also close to Banibangou town, left 14 people dead.

Jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have found it easy to evade local and international troops and cross the three borders between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

In March an attack in the same district of Niger left 66 people dead.

Last month attacks in the neighbouring district killed 19 civilians.

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