Suspected Islamist militants have attacked two villages in Niger, killing at least 56 people, according to Reuters news agency.
Over 20 others were also injured by the attacks on Zaroumdareye and Tchombangou, near Niger’s border with Mali.
There have been several recent violent incidents in Africa’s Sahel region, carried out by militant groups.
France said on Saturday that two of its soldiers were killed in Mali.
Hours earlier, a group with links to al-Qaeda said it was behind the killing of three French troops in a separate attack in Mali on Monday.
- How West Africa is under threat from Islamist militants
- Africa’s Sahel becomes latest al-Qaeda-IS battleground
France has been leading a coalition of West African and European allies against Islamist militants in the West African region.
But countries like Niger and Mali continue to be affected by ethnic violence, human and drug trafficking, and banditry.
News of the latest attacks on two villages in Niger was confirmed by the government to the French RFI news outlet.
Interior Minister Alkache Alhada said soldiers had been sent to protect the area, but he say how many casualties there had been.
The country’s Tillaberi region, where the villages are situated, has been under a state of emergency since 2017, and attacks by jihadist groups are common throughout Niger.
Last month, Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram killed at least 27 people in Diffa region in the south-east.
The latest attacks also come amid national elections in Niger, as President Mahamadou Issoufou steps down after two five-year terms.
Culled from BBC