ANKARA

Six French nationals and two Nigeriens were killed Sunday in a touristic area near Niger’s capital, local media reported. 

“We have a sad and horrible news to announce. We announce the death of the president of our association Kadri Abdou and of six French tourists and their Nigerien driver,” the Association of Giraffe Guides of Koure said in press release late Sunday.

According to Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, the governor of the Tillaberi region, eight people were killed on Aug. 9 at around 11.30 a.m. local time (1030GMT) by armed men riding motorcycles a few kilometers east of Koure, an area which shelters the last herds of West African giraffes, local daily ActuNiger reported.

“Among the eight people killed in Niger, several are ACTED employees,” said Joseph Breham, a lawyer for the NGO. ACTED is a French humanitarian organization.

Koure, situated in the Nigerien region of Tillabery bordering Mali, is a rural community located 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Niamey, the capital of Niger. The town lies on both sides of the road from Niamey to Dallol Bosso. Koure is best known for West African giraffes, an endemic subspecies of West Africa.

Since 2017, the Tillaberi region has been subject to repeated attacks blamed on Boko Haram and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorist groups that operate in northern Mali.

At least 20 civilians were killed in the region in May this year.

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