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At Least 100 Killed By Islamic Extremists In Niger Villages

(Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

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At least 100 people were killed by Islamic extremists who targeted their villages in Niger, officials announced on Sunday.

Nigerian villages Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye were attacked after locals killed two militants on the day it was announced that the West African presidential elections will go to a second round, the Associated Press reported. Islamic extremist groups Boko Haram, and members of ISIS and al-Qaida, have attacked the nation several times.

“We came to provide moral support and present the condolences of the president of the republic, the government and the entire Niger nation,” Nigerian Prime Minister Brigi Rafin said, the AP reported.

Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by the attacks even with thousands of regional and international troops stationed throughout the country, the AP reported. (RELATED: Gunmen Reportedly Kill 27, Burn Down Hundreds Of Homes Amid Nigerien Elections)

Even with the increasing jihadist threat to the country, Niger is expected to complete its first democratic transition of leadership since it gained independence in 1960, the AP reported. Around 7.5 million Nigerians were registered to vote on Dec. 27.

Current Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou has served two terms and is stepping down, according to the AP. The second round of elections will happen after none of the 28 candidates secured a majority.

The former Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum is scheduled to challenge former President Mahamane Ousmane on Feb. 21, according to the AP.

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