Macron condemns 'cowardly' attack in Niger, vows to fight 'terrorist groups in the Sahel region'

WION Web Team PARIS Aug 10, 2020, 05.32 AM(IST)

French President Emmanuel Macron Photograph:( Reuters )

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The French leader, who spoke with his Niger counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou, added that he was determined to help counter the "terrorist groups in the Sahel region".

President of France Emmanuel Macron on Sunday condemned the 'cowardly" attack on humanitarian workers in Niger and said he would do everything to shed light on the incident in which eight people died.

Also read: Six French tourists among eight killed by gunmen in Niger

The French President, who spoke with his Niger counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou, added that he was determined to help counter the "terrorist groups in the Sahel region".

On Sunday, gunmen had killed six French aid workers, a Nigerien guide and a driver in a wildlife park in Niger, according to officials in the West African country.

The group was attacked on Sunday in a giraffe reserve near Koure, a town about 65km (40 miles) from the capital, Niamey. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"They were intercepted and killed," Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, the governor of Tillaberi region, told Reuters news agency.

The French government has warned citizens against traveling outside of the capital of Niamey as militants linked to Boko Haram, Islamic State and al-Qaida still carry out attacks across the vast West African nation.

Niger borders several countries including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Nigeria and Libya. Violence by groups linked to IS and al-Qaida is on the rise in the Sahel region.

France has deployed thousands of soldiers to help fight the growing insurgency there, and a local Sahel force made up of soldiers from Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania has also been fighting the extremists.

(With inputs from agencies)