From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Latest update: Summary & Terrorism section – terrorist attacks are very likely, including kidnapping

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Niger. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. There’s a threat of retaliatory attacks in Niger due to its participation in the French-led intervention in Mali and due to Niger’s involvement in the regional fight to counter Boko Haram. You should monitor developments, be alert to announcements and remain vigilant at all times.

As seen in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups continue to mount attacks on hotels, cafés and restaurants visited by foreigners. Be especially vigilant in these places.

The government declared a state of emergency on 03 March 2017 in Diffa region, in Ouallam, Ayorou, Bankilare, Abala and Banibongou (Tillabéri region) and Tassara and Tillia (Tahoua region).This was in response to an escalation in terrorist attacks, especially in the Tillabéri region.

Recent attacks have included:

  • on March 06 2017, a terrorist attack at Wanzarbé, southwest Niger near Burkina Faso, Mali border with Niger, resulted in the deaths of five Nigerien soldiers
  • on February 22 2017, an attack on the Nigerien army in the region of Tillabéri, resulted in the deaths of 16 soldiers and 17 injured.
  • on October 17 2016, the high security prison of Koutoukalé located near the border between Niger and Mali was attacked
  • on October 14 2016, an American aid worker was kidnapped in Abalak, a province of the region of Tahoua 350 km northeast of Niamey
  • on October 6 2016, an attack by violent extremists on the Malian refugee camp in Tazalit, region of Tasara, 180 kilometers from the Malian border, resulted in the deaths of 22 Nigerien soldiers
  • in June 2016, an attack by Boko Haram on the town of Bosso (Diffa region) left 32 dead and many more injured or displaced
  • on 6 February 2015, Nigerien and Chadian military forces were attacked by Boko Haram in the towns of Bosso and Diffa
  • on 8 February 2015 there was an explosion in the town of Diffa resulting in several deaths and injuries.

The government of Nigeria has declared a state of emergency in its northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Borno and Yobe border southern Niger.

There’s a high threat of kidnapping from terrorist groups including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M) and other regional Islamist groups including Al Murabitun. These groups operate in the border areas of northern Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Libya. They have proven capability of travelling long distances to carry out attacks. Westerners have been kidnapped in Niger and the wider Sahel region, including in Niamey and the north and west of Niger. Criminal gangs have previously carried out kidnapping for terrorist groups in return for financial rewards. There are currently several westerners being held in the Sahel and surrounding region. Victims in the region have included tourists, NGO workers and diplomats of a variety of nationalities, primarily European. These attacks have sometimes resulted in the murder of the hostage.

Kidnapping for ransom is Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s primary source of finance. Further kidnap attacks are likely. Terrorist groups view those engaged in humanitarian aid work or journalism as legitimate targets. There are reports that terrorist groups may be targeting international humanitarian workers in Diffa province for kidnapping. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence in country is unlikely to serve as protection.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking.

There’s considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at:

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