On Saturday, October 12, at least five members of the gendarmerie were killed in an ambush in Abarey (Tillabéri region), when at least 60 militants carrying heavy weapons attacked the gendarmes securing a local market. An increased security presence has been reported in the area.
The attack comes as the state of emergency in effect in the Tillabéri, Tahoua, and Diffa regions has been extended for three additional months on September 18. Associated measures - e.g. curfews, expanded military powers, etc. - are therefore to remain in effect until at least mid-December.
Officials placed the Tillabéry and Tahoua regions under a state of emergency in March 2017 due to an increase in attacks targeting refugee camps and security forces. The Diffa region has been under a state of emergency since February 2015.
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 throughout Niger should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (e.g. 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, including areas along the border with Burkina Faso, as well as areas along the Nigerian border to the south, due to the high risk of terrorist activity.
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