KIGALI, Rwanda

Armed men on motorbikes attacked a village in western Niger, killing 14 people in a restive area where the Islamist insurgency is rife, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

In a statement, the ministry said the attack took place Sunday afternoon and the victims included nine people killed in fields, three in a nearby village, and two who were walking back to the village in the rural commune of Banibangou.

The identities of the attackers were yet to be established, it said, but Islamic militants are active in the area.

Islamic insurgents in Niger previously targeted security forces. But this year, attacks have targeted civilians amid increasing local ethnic conflicts.

In January, similar raids killed at least 100 civilians in one of the country’s worst attacks, when armed militants on motorcycles split into groups and surrounded two villages in the western Tillaberi region near the border with Mali, local officials said then.

Previous attacks in Tillaberi have been blamed on an affiliate of the Islamic State.

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