Eight persons including six French tourists and two Nigeriens -- a guide and a driver, have been killed by armed individuals in the Koure area, according to the Nigerien ministry of interior and public security.
The Elysee Palace on Sunday confirmed the incident. "French nationals were killed on Sunday in Niger," President Emmanuel Macron's office told French media and denounced the attack, adding that Macron had spoken over the phone with Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, Xinhua reported.
The victims, who went to see giraffes in the Koure area about 70 km southeast of Niamey in the Kollo department, Tillabry region, were in a vehicle belonging to a French NGO Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development.
The vehicle was charred by the attackers, said the ministry in a statement, adding that an "investigation and search operations in collaboration with our partners are underway to find the perpetrators of this despicable act and to strengthen security in the area."
The Koure area bordering Burkina Faso has for over a year been a new hotbed of insecurity in the extreme southwest of the country.