On 21 March 2021, dozens of unidentified militants riding motorcycles attacked at least three villages and an unspecified number of nomadic camps in the Tahoua region, which is located near the Niger-Mali border. According to the Nigerien government, at least 137 civilians were killed – marking this occurrence as the largest massacre by suspected jihadists in Niger to date. The casualty count may rise with the emergence of additional information, which is slow to appear due to the isolated nature of the area as well as poor telecommunications infrastructure. While no group has thus far claimed responsibility for the attacks, security sources allege that the militants were Islamic State fighters.

Analyst Comment: Such attacks have increased in frequency in western and southwestern Niger in recent months, particularly in the weeks surrounding the election of President Mohamed Bazoum in February 2021.