On Thursday, May 16, the Islamic State-West Africa Province (ISWAP) issued a statement claiming responsibility for the May 14 ambush targeting Nigerien soldiers in the Tillabéri region. At least 28 soldiers were killed after being attacked near Tongo Tongo. According to government officials, the militants opened fire on the soldiers after one of their vehicles hit a landmine.
Similar attacks in western Niger are possible over the coming weeks.
Militants have been increasingly active along the Niger-Mali-Burkina Faso border area, which the countries' respective governments have had difficulty securing in recent years. 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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