Reuters quoted two sources in Niger as saying that at least 70 civilians were killed in simultaneous attacks on two villages, by militants suspected of being militants, near the border region with Mali.
The attack comes as the vote counting process is underway in the December 27 elections, as the preliminary results announced on Saturday show that the ruling Nigerian Party for Democracy and Socialism has advanced in the race for seats in the Legislative Council (parliament).
Interior Minister Alkash Alhada said the attack targeted the villages of Chumbango and Zarumdari near the border with Mali.
According to security sources, about 49 villagers were killed and 17 people were injured in the village of Chumbango, while about 30 other villagers were killed in the village of Zaromdari.
This West African country witnessed attacks carried out by militants linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State last year, in which hundreds were killed near Niger’s western borders with Mali and Burkina Faso, and the southern border with Nigeria.