Gunmen Reportedly Kill 27, Burn Down Hundreds Of Homes Amid Nigerien Elections

(Photo by SOULEYMANE AG ANARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Attackers burned down at least 800 homes and killed at least 27 people in the southeastern region of Diffa in Niger on Saturday, according to a United Nations statement made Monday. 

The U.N. did not attribute the actions to a particular group, according to Reuters. However, a local official blamed the attack on Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported

Boko Haram is known to have been active in the region for more than a decade, according to the U.N.

National Nigerien authorities have not yet offered a comment on the attack, Reuters reported. The attacks come amid local elections in the African country, which will hold its presidential election on Dec. 27. (RELATED: US Sanctions Two Iranian Intelligence Officers For Abduction And Probable Death Of Former FBI Agent)

Violent attacks are not uncommon in the region. An American citizen was abducted in the country in October. Two of his captors, who were not thought to be associated with Boko Haram, were recently arrested in neighboring Nigeria. Nigeria was also subjected to an attack on a school Friday that left hundreds of children missing.