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Six French tourists killed by gunmen in Niger giraffe reserve

Six French tourists killed by gunmen in Niger giraffe reserve
A group of French tourists along with their local tour guide and driver have been shot and killed by gunmen in Niger. French President Emmanuel Macron's officer confirmed the deaths of the French citizens.

The shooting took place in the Koure region, which is home to the last herd of West African giraffes and a popular tourist destination.

The unidentified armed men were riding motorcycles and waited for the arrival of the tourists to the area, a source told AFP. “Most of the victims were shot… We found a magazine emptied of its cartridges at the scene,” the source explained, adding that the tourists' vehicle belonged to the French aid organization ACTED.

“We are managing the situation, we will give more information later,” said Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, the governor of the country’s southwestern Tillaberi Region.

Al-Qaeda-linked militants, against whom France waged a military campaign, have been in control of a large area in the northern part of neighboring Mali since 2012, while also carrying out attacks in Niger and Burkina Faso.

Macron has called Niger's President, Mahamadou Issoufou, to discuss the tragedy. France's foreign ministry warns on its website that the "terrorist threat is high" in Niger.

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