Eight people including six French tourists and two Nigeriens (a guide and a driver) were killed on Sunday by armed individuals in the Koure area (about 70 km southeast of Niamey), according to the Nigerien ministry of interior and public security.

The victims, who left to visit giraffes in the Koure area, in the Kollo department, Tillabry region, were in a vehicle belonging to a French NGO ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development).

The vehicle was charred by the attackers, said the ministry in a statement, adding that “investigation and search operations in collaboration with our partners are underway to find the perpetrators of this despicable act and strengthen security in the area.”

The Koure area bordering Burkina Faso has for over a year been a new hotbed of insecurity in the extreme southwest of the country.

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