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137 people killed in Niger in a series of attacks on villages along the border with Mali

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NIAMEY, Niger Gunmen riding motorcycles killed 137 people in coordinated attacks on villages in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday, the government said, making it one of the deadliest days in recent memory in a country ravaged by Islamic violence.

Unidentified assailants struck in the afternoon, attacking three villages and other hamlets in the Tahoua region bordering Mali, the government said on Monday, reviewing the number from a previous local authorities estimate of about 60 killed.

By systematically targeting civilians, these armed bandits are reaching a new level of horror and savagery, she said in a statement, announcing three days of national mourning.

She did not say who authorities believed was behind the attacks, but the violence comes amid a wider security crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, which is being fueled by militants linked to Al Qaeda, Islamic State and ethnic militias.

Unidentified assailants killed at least 58 villagers in the nearby Tillabri region last Monday.

Sunday’s attacks came the same day the Nigerian Constitutional Court declared Mohamed Bazoum the winner of the February run-off election for the presidency. Mr. Bazoum will be inaugurated on 2 April.

In January, 100 civilians in Niger were killed in attacks by suspected militants, with gunmen firing on men and boys in what was said to be a retaliatory attack on the villages of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye in Tillabri.

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