At least 19 people, including two policemen, were killed and five injured when a passenger bus was attacked by suspected terrorists near the Niger-Burkina Faso border, local media reported on Thursday.
The bus was intercepted by “armed individuals riding on a dozen motorcycles” near the Petelkole border post in Niger’s Tillaberi region, local daily ActuNiger reported, citing security sources.
It was heading from Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou to Niger’s capital Niamey with some 30 people on board.
The attackers had escaped by the time security personnel reached the spot.
“Several bodies were lying next to the bus, which was set on fire, and wounded people, some of them with serious injuries, lay on the ground,” read the report.
Two more trucks were also found in flames at the site.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, but similar attacks in the Tillaberi region, which is in the tri-border area with Mali, have been claimed by the al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIS terror groups.
Last month, Niger agreed for French and European special forces being withdrawn from Mali to be moved to its territory to secure the tri-border area.
The redeployment, expected to be done in the coming months, comes after European leaders announced that troops posted in Mali as part of a counterterrorism force will be pulled out due to “multiple obstructions by the Malian transitional authorities.”Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.