1152 GMT September 24, 2020
The unidentified gunmen, who rode on motorbikes, attacked the group who worked for the humanitarian charity ACTED in a giraffe reserve just 65km (40 miles) from the capital Niamey. A Nigerien guide and a local driver employed by ACTED were also killed, Reuters reported.
ACTED said in a statement the group had been “senselessly and cowardly murdered by armed individuals”.
No one has claimed responsibility for the assault. But France and other countries have warned people against traveling to parts of Niger where terrorists including Boko Haram and an affiliate of Daesh operate.
“Military operations are ongoing today,” the military source said on Monday.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he shared their families’ grief. “Our determination to combat armed terrorist groups is resolute. The fight continues,” Macron tweeted.
The reserve southeast of the capital is a popular attraction in Niger, a vast country that borders seven states in an unstable region including Libya, Mali, Chad, Algeria and Nigeria.
France, a former colonial power in the region, has deployed thousands of troops in the arid region south of the desert of Sahara since 2013. But militant violence has been on the rise.