Niger attacks killed 100, says prime minister

Niger's Prime Minister says a suspected militant attack over the weekend was one of his country's deadliest in recent memory.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said 100 people were killed in western villages the day before by what were believed to be Islamist fighters.

" This situation is simply horrible, committed by unidentified individuals, but investigations will be conducted so that this crime does not go unpunished."

Security sources said civilians had been killed in two simultaneous raids on the same day. Rafini's Sunday visit to the zone attacked near the border with Mali was broadcast on national television.

He did not say who was responsible, although Niger's western borders have been ravaged by Islamist extremism linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The violence is part of a wider security crisis in the western Sahel region, fueled by jihadist extremism and strife among ethnic communities for scarce resources.