At least 70 killed in suspected militant attacks in Niger

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At least 70 civilians were killed in simultaneous attacks on two villages by suspected Islamist militants in Niger, near the border zone with Mali, security sources said on Saturday.

About 49 villagers were killed and 17 people wounded in the village of Tchombangou, said one of the security sources, who requested anonymity.

A second source, a senior official in Niger`s interior ministry who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said that around 30 other villagers had been killed in the village of Zaroumdareye.

Niger`s government was not immediately available to comment.

The West African nation has previously suffered attacks by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic StateAttacks near the western border with Mali and Burkina  faso and southeastern border with nigeria, killed hundreds of people last year .

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