Ten aid workers kidnapped in southwest Niger

Nigerien soldiers
Nigerien commandos simulate a raid on a militant camp during the U.S. sponsored Flintlock exercises in Ouallam, Niger.

At least 10 local aid workers have been kidnapped in southwest Niger near the border with Burkina Faso, security sources and an official from APIS, the non-governmental organisation for which they worked, said on Thursday.

It was not clear who had carried out the kidnapping, which took place as the aid workers distributed food in the village of Bossey Bangou on Wednesday, said an APIS representative and a local security official.

Jihadist groups with links to Islamic State and al Qaeda have been expanding their presence in the arid Sahel region of West Africa, and attacks on civilians and armed forces have increased significantly over the last two years.

APIS is an NGO based in Niger-based that has worked with the U.N. World Food Programme during the coronavirus outbreak.

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