Niger and neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali are battling the spread of deadly extremist violence from groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. The increasing violence has killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands despite the presence of regional and international troops.
In Niger, hundreds of civilians have already been killed this year.
In January, at least 100 people were killed in Niger's western villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye.
In March, a series of attacks on villages near Niger’s troubled border with Mali left at least 137 people dead in the deadliest violence to strike the West African nation.