A solemn crime scene of a burnt-out vehicle in Niger, where it is reported that gunmen murdered 8 people yesterday - 6 of whom were French nationals amongst which ACTED a French humanitarian non-governmental organisation has confirmed its staff members.
Amongst the deceased was a drive and Khadri — a local guide and the president of the Kouré Giraffe Guides Association, as the attack occurred east of Kouré which is about an hour's drive from the capital Niamey and within proximity (around 65 km or 40 miles south-east) to the popular tourist attraction, The Kouré Giraffe Reserve.
Although the identities of the perpetrators are still under speculation, terrorist groups such as Boko Haram operate in the area - and the threat of military violence linked to Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists has been on the rise in the Sahel region.
Despite the current volatile climate in the area over recent years, many tourists still visit to see the popular giraffes specific to Niger — a sub-species distinguished by its lighter colour which settled there around 20 years ago and have been largely protected from poachers. The French government, however, advises against travel to large parts of Niger.
France has been leading a coalition of West African and European allies against Islamist militants in the region since June.