Associated Press/Carley Petesch

Dozens of people were killed by gunmen in an attack in a remote area of southwest Niger on Thursday.

Interior Minister Alkache Alhada said on state television Thursday that 69 died in an ambush involving both politicians and civilians, Reuters reported.

The mayor of Banibangou, who was leading a delegation, was among those killed in the attack near the border with Mali.

Alhada said 15 people were found alive after the attack and a search operation is underway for other survivors.

No group has claimed responsibility, but the area is overrun by associates of a local affiliate of the Islamic State, according to Reuters.

The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a group tracking political violence, says Islamist groups have killed more than 530 civilians in the region this year, more than five times all of 2020, Reuters reported.

Tags Armed Attack Niger

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