Unidentified militants reportedly attacked a military outpost in Inates, located near the border with Mali, on Monday, July 1, with suicide bombing vehicles followed by heavy gunfire. While the exact number of casualties remains unknown as of Tuesday, July 2, local sources suggest the human toll could be significant. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Similar attacks in western Niger are possible over the coming weeks.
The attack comes as Niamey is hosting the mid-year African Union (AU) Summit from Thursday, July 4, to Monday, July 8.
Several militant groups have been active along the Niger-Mali-Burkina Faso border area, which the countries' respective governments have had difficulty securing in recent years. 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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