NIAMEY, Niger — An attack attributed to an Islamist militant group killed 28 people and burned 800 homes in Niger’s Diffa region on Saturday, according to Nigerien and United Nations officials.
Members of the group, Boko Haram, have been waging attacks in the region around Lake Chad since 2009, leading some 250,000 people to flee, according to U.N. figures.
The latest attack targeted the village of Toumour, less than 12 miles from the border with Nigeria, over the weekend. the government said in a statement.
Describing the 28 deaths, a government spokesman, Abdourahamane Zakaria, said “10 were from gunshots, 14 by fire, four by drowning.” He said 100 people were wounded.
Neither the government nor a U.N. statement on the attack named the perpetrators, but the governor of Diffa, Issa Lemine, said Sunday that Boko Haram was responsible.
Agence France-Presse reported that the group had claimed responsibility for the attack in a video sent to the news agency.
The Boko Haram insurgency erupted in northeastern Nigeria, but violence frequently spills over into Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
The bloodshed in Toumour is among the worst the country has suffered at the hands of the militants, Mr. Lemine said on Sunday.
He described scenes of panic after the attack, which hit an area hosting 60,000 internally displaced persons and refugees.
“It is an indescribable tragedy,” Mr. Lemine said.
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