News Alerts

17 May 2020 | 08:14 AM UTC

Niger: Militants fire rockets at security forces near Diffa May 16

Niger News Alert

Boko Haram militants fire two rockets at military positions on the edge of Diffa on May 16; further militant attacks are possible over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/17/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/20/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Niamey). COUNTRY/REGION Niger

Event

Suspected Boko Haram militants targeted Nigerien military positions with rockets on the edge of Diffa and the strategic Doutchi bridge on Saturday, May 16. The Douthci bridge connects Niger to Nigeria and is located around 10 km (6 mi) south of Diffa. At least two rockets were fired at around 05:00 (local time) and the army responded with at least four artillery rounds. No casualties were reported in the attack.

Further militant attacks and a heightened security presence are expected in Diffa over the near term.

Context

The Diffa region has seen an increase in attacks linked to Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWA) in recent weeks, including a major assault on a military camp outside Diffa on May 3. Security has since been increased in the region, but further attacks remain likely in the medium term.

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.

Advice

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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