The Nigerien Minister of Interior announced that security forces repelled an attack on Koutoukalé prison in western Niger's Tillabéri region on Monday, May 13. Dozens of assailants armed with explosives and small arms attacked the prison on motorbikes and cars in a suspected prison break attempt. At least one National Guard officer was killed in the fighting, which began around 17:00 (local time), and several vehicles seized or set on fire. Further violence is possible in the surrounding areas in the coming hours and days.
Militants have been increasingly active along the Niger-Mali-Burkina Faso border area, which the countries' respective governments have had difficulty securing. Officials placed the Tillabéri region under a state of emergency in March 2017 due to an increase in attacks targeting refugee camps and security forces.
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.
Individuals in Niger are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant for militant and criminal activity, and exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed likely to be targeted in an attack (e.g. government buildings, prominent hotels, etc.). Many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to areas located in the north and west of the country.
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