Auto Draft

Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

3 Saudi tourists killed by gunmen in Niger

000ggg_124
000ggg_124
Avatar
Written by editor

NIAMEY, Niger – Unidentified gunmen shot dead three tourists from Saudi Arabia in an attack Monday in Niger’s remote western desert, officials said.

NIAMEY, Niger – Unidentified gunmen shot dead three tourists from Saudi Arabia in an attack Monday in Niger’s remote western desert, officials said.

Three other Saudi citizens were also wounded in the assault, Niger government spokesman Mamane Kassoum Moktar told The Associated Press.

Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled bin Saud told Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV the tourists were leaving Niger for neighboring Mali when they were attacked around dawn after stopping their vehicle to perform morning prayers.

It was not clear what sparked the violence, but local insurgents, bandits and members of al-Qaida’s Algeria-based North Africa branch are believed to be active in the remote deserts near the Mali frontier.

Asked if they suspected al-Qaida was behind the attack, Saud said the group is active in the area “but we have no proof” they were involved.

“It appears to us so far that it was a robbery,” Saud said, adding that authorities in Niger were in contact with their Saudi counterparts.

Moktar also declined to speculate on whether al-Qaida was behind the attack. He said the assailants were traveling in a four-wheel-drive when they fled, and that police and army forces had been dispatched to track them down.

Moktar said two guides from Mali who had been escorting the Saudis were found by police with their hands tied on Monday in Ayerou village, near where the attack occurred.

In April, kidnappers in Niger released four foreign hostages who had been held for months, including the United Nations’ former special envoy to Niger, Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler.

Niger’s president blamed Fowler’s abduction on a rebel group of ethnic minority Tuareg nomads who have waged a low-level insurgency for years. But Al-Qaida’s North Africa branch claimed responsibility for that kidnapping.

Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa is an Algeria-based group that joined Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network in 2006 and conducts dozens of bombings or ambushes each month. The group operates mainly in Algeria but is suspected of crossing the country’s porous desert borders to spread violence in the rest of northwestern Africa.

On Monday, al-Qaida claimed responsibility for kidnapping two Italians earlier this month in Mauritania, which borders Mali and is located on the northwestern fringe of Africa. Rome’s foreign minister said it was likely the hostages were in the hands of the radical Islamist group.