Five soldiers were reportedly killed and three others injured in an attack carried out on Wednesday, July 5, in the Midal Valley (Tasmena desert area). The incident occurred near the border with Mali, approximately 100 km (62 mi) from Tassara (Tahoua region). Ensuing clashes between the assailants and Nigerien forces reportedly continued throughout the day.
Niger faces a high threat of terrorism, including 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.
The Tamesna desert region, bordering neighboring Mali, has in recent years become a veritable no-man's-land, where drug traffickers operate. The region is one of the most porous areas along the Nigerien border, where various prohibited products are trafficked including drugs, weapons, and currency. In order to eradicate this phenomenon, special forces units have been deployed to permanently patrol the 800-km (500-mi) border area. A state of emergency is currently in place in several departments of the Tillabéri and Tahoua regions.
Visitors throughout Niger should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (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, as well as areas along the Nigerian border to the south, due to the high risk of terrorist activity.