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69 die in west Niger attack

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Niamey: At least 69 people, including a local mayor, have been killed in an attack in Niger’s volatile “tri-border” zone with Burkina Faso and Mali, the interior ministry said on Thursday.

The assault took place on Tuesday at Adab-Dab, a village about 55 kilometres (32 miles) from Banibangou in the western region of Tillaberi, but was only confirmed by the government on Thursday.

“The mayor of the commune of Banibangou, while travelling with a delegation from the commune, was ambushed by unidentified armed bandits,” the ministry said in a statement. “The provisional toll of the attack… is 69 dead, including the mayor, and 15 survivors,” it said. A search was under way for the attackers. The government declared two days of national morning from Friday.

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