According to Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, a German national kidnapped in Ayorou (Tillabéri region; near the border with Mali) on April 11 as well as an American national kidnapped in Abalak (Tahoua region) in October 2016 are both alive. Their whereabouts remain unknown but they are suspected to be held in Mali. Negotiations for their release are currently ongoing.
Niger faces a high threat from terrorism, including armed attacks and abductions. Militant Islamist cells from various Nigerian and Malian terrorist groups - including Boko Haram, Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Al-Mourabitoun - are all active in the country.
Officials placed the Tillabéri and Tahoua regions under a state of emergency in March 2017 due to an increase in attacks by Islamist terrorist groups. The state of emergency is currently set to remain in place until mid-2018.
Due to the terrorist threat, individuals throughout Niger should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (government buildings, prominent hotels, etc.) and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to areas located in the north and west of the country, as well as areas along the Nigerian border to the south, due to the high risk of terrorist activity.
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