210323 Niger
In this file photo taken on February 23, 2021 Niger's newly elected president Mohamed Bazoum gestures at his party headquarter after the announcement of his election in Niamey, on February 23, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Niamey: At least 10 people were killed on Wednesday in attacks on two villages in the Tillaberi region of southwest Niger, a senior security source said.

Armed “bandits” burned a school and killed three people in the village of Zibane and seven in Gabado, the source said.

Security forces are making checks at the scene and the death toll could rise, the source said. It is not clear who carried out the attack.

Gunmen killed 137 people in coordinated raids on villages in the southwest on Sunday, one of the deadliest days in recent memory in a country ravaged by Islamist violence. Those attacks were a few hundred kilometres away from Wednesday’s incident.

The violence represents a growing problem for Niger's newly elected president Mohamed Bazoum.

Daesh’s local affiliate is active in the zone and has been blamed for previous attacks that killed dozens of civilians and soldiers.

The violence is part of a wider security crisis across West Africas Sahel region, which is also fuelled by militants linked to Al Qaida and ethnic militias.