Attack on home of senior Niger politician kills guard

14 June 2021 | International

AFP

Niamey

A machine-gun attack on the home of Seini Oumarou, president of the National Assembly in Niger, killed one of his guards and seriously wounded a second, the authorities said Saturday.

The attack, which happened overnight Friday to Saturday, was carried out by two men on a motorbike, Osseini Salatou, an advisor to Oumarou, told journalists.

"They machine-gunned the guards (posted in front of his home) killing one of them" and seriously wounding the other, he added.

Niger's interior ministry confirmed the attack in a statement Saturday evening, adding that the two attackers had tried unsuccessfully to drive off a 4x4 vehicle parked in front of the building before leaving the scene.

Officials had opened an investigation into the attack, they added.

Oumarou leads the National Movement for the Society of Development, which was in power between 1999 and 2010.

Oumarou, now 70, placed third in the first round of the December 2020 presidential election, before throwing his support behind the eventual winner, Mohamed Bazoum.

In the violence following the announcement in February that Bazoum had won the presidency, protesters attacked Oumarou's home, shooting dead one of his bodyguards.

Niger lies on the edge of the Sahara Desert, where security is a growing concern after attacks by jihadists from neighbouring Nigeria, Mali and Libya.