May 2020 Tillabéri attacks

On 9 May 2020, gunmen attacked several villages in the Tillabéri Region of Niger. At least twenty people were killed. The perpetrators and motive of the attacks are unknown.

May 2020 Tillabéri attacks
LocationTillabéri Region, Niger
Date9 May 2020
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. (West Africa Time)
Attack type
Terrorist attack, looting
PerpetratorsAl-Qaeda (suspected)


The Tillabéri Region is situated in a tri-border area where the boundary of Niger meets that of Burkina Faso and Mali.[1] Niger has been under a state of emergency since 2017; this was extended shortly before the attacks took place.[2] In the years leading up to the attacks, militant jihadist groups with ties to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State had increased their power and influence in the Sahel, making parts of that land "ungovernable".[1] In January 2019, the Nigerien government limited the use of motorcycles at all hours of the day in a bid to stymie insurgents operating in the area.[2]


From around 4:00 to 5:30 pm local time on 9 May 2020, an "unknown number" of gunmen on motorbikes attacked the villages of Gadabo, Zibane Koira-Zeno, and Zibane-Tegui in the Tillabéri Region.[2][3] At least 20 people were killed. In addition, they ransacked shops, stole cereal and cattle,[2][3] and ordered the villagers to leave.[3] The gunmen then escaped to the north,[2][1] in the direction of the border with Mali.[4]

Initial responseEdit

The governor of the region, Ibrahim Tidjani Katchella, spoke to national radio the day after the attacks. He gave a basic overview of the attacks, but did not elaborate further.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Twenty killed in attacks on several villages in western Niger". Al Jazeera. May 11, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "More than 20 killed in attacks in west of Niger". France 24. May 10, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Niger attacks: At least 20 killed in Tillaberi villages". BBC News. May 10, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  4. ^ Mamane, Dalatou (May 10, 2020). "20 people killed in three jihadist attacks in western Niger". Associated Press. Retrieved May 12, 2020.