November 24, 2018 / 9:58 AM / 19 days ago

Armed men kidnap 15 girls in southeastern Niger - mayor

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Armed men kidnapped 15 girls overnight in southeastern Niger, the local mayor said on Saturday.

Boukar Mani Orthe, the mayor of Toumour in Niger’s Diffa region near the border with Nigeria, said about 50 unidentified armed men seized the girls in a village about 9 km (6 miles) from the town centre.

On Thursday suspected Boko Haram fighters killed eight people working at French drilling company Foraco’s water well site in Toumour.

Boko Haram has been waging an insurrection since 2009 aimed at establishing an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria. It has launched repeated attacks into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

The violence has killed thousands of civilians and forced millions to flee their homes in the large Lake Chad basin region.

Reporting By Boureima Balima; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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