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Six French tourists, their local guide and driver were killed by unidentified gunmen riding motorcycles on Sunday in an area of southwestern Niger home to the last herd of West African giraffes, officials said.

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"There are eight dead: two Nigeriens including a guide and a driver, while the other six are French," Tillaberi Region Governor Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella told AFP.

"We are managing the situation, we will give more information later," the governor said, without indicating who was behind the attack.

The French foreign ministry said "checks are underway" into the reports of the attack. There was no immediate comment from the government in Niger.

The French government warns people against travelling to large parts of Niger outside the capital, Niamey, where militant groups including Boko Haram operate.

Tourist draw

A source close to the environmental services said the assault took place around 11:30am (1030 GMT) six kilometres (four miles) east of the town of Koure, which is an hour's drive from the capital Niamey.

"Most of the victims were shot… We found a magazine emptied of its cartridges at the scene," the source told AFP.

"We do not know the identity of the attackers but they came on motorcycles throughRead More – Source