Car
This burned out vehicle was found near the scene

Gunmen in Niger have attacked a party of wildlife tourists, killing six French citizens, their local guide and driver.

The gunmen arrived on motorcycles and opened fire, the governor of Tillabéri region, Tidjani Ibrahim, told the French news agency AFP.

They were in the Koure region, which attracts tourists who want to see the last herds of giraffe in West Africa.

The French presidency confirmed the deaths of the French citizens.

President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone with his Niger counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou on Sunday, a statement said, without giving further details.

In photos seen by newsmen, the victims’ bodies were found lying on a dirt road by the side of a 4×4 vehicle.

Niger giraffes
Despite the dangers, tourists head to Koure to see the only giraffes left in West Africa

The white 4×4 appeared to have been burned out.

It is not yet clear who was behind the attack, but jihadist groups have become increasingly active in Niger.

The French government advises against travel to large parts of Niger, a former French colony.

The threat of terrorism, in particular outside the capital Niamey and near the borders, is high, the French government says.

Militant groups, including Boko Haram, operate in the area and violence by groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group has been on the rise in the Sahel region.

France has been leading a coalition of West African and European allies against Islamist militants in the region since June.

Despite this, tourists still visit to see the Niger giraffes, a sub-species distinguished by its lighter colour.

They settled in the area around 20 years ago and have been largely protected from poachers.

The Koure Giraffe Reserve, around 65 km (40 miles) south east of the capital Niamey, draws many tourists.

Source: BBC
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