One hundred thirty-seven people were killed by Islamist jihadi forces in Niger.
According to The Christian Post, of those dead are nearly two dozen children.
The Islamist attack took place on the southwestern border between Niger and Mali, in the Tahoua region, according to government sources obtained by The Christian Post. The jihadists were reportedly labeled unidentified insurgents and rode on motorcycles. They raided at least three villages and hamlets in the region.
According to UNICEF, 22 children were murdered by the Islamists. Some were as young as five years old.
"It is the second deadly attack on civilians in a week,” UNICEF said in a statement.
Earlier in the month, “unidentified armed groups attacked and killed at least 58 civilians – including six children - returning from a weekly market in the Banibangou department, Tillaberi region, near the Malian border. Killing and injuring children is a grave violation of human rights,” the human rights group added.
The United Nations Secretary-General also commented on the situation, noting that the UN stands in “solidarity and support” with “the Government and people of Niger in their efforts to prevent and combat terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.” He also urged Nigerien authorities to “spare no effort” in carrying out justice for the 137 dead.
“[The United Nations Secretary-General] urges countries in the Sahel to continue their efforts, in close collaboration with regional organizations and international partners, to address these serious threats to security and stability in the sub-region and beyond,” the statement from the UN asserted.
UNICEF also asserted that "the continuing conflict, repeated attacks, and access restrictions due to insecurity and violence are hampering our ability to reach those most in need, including two million children who require humanitarian assistance. Attacks on children and families must stop, once and for all. Enough is enough."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Oleksii Liskonih
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.