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Islamic State claims killing of French aid workers in Niger

Islamic State has credited its West Africa affiliate for killing six French aid workers and their Nigerien guide and driver at a giraffe reserve in Niger on Aug. 9, according to a statement published by the SITE Intelligence Group on Thursday.

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DAKAR, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Islamic State has credited its West Africa affiliate for killing six French aid workers and their Nigerien guide and driver at a giraffe reserve in Niger on Aug. 9, according to a statement published by the SITE Intelligence Group on Thursday.

Islamic State said a detachment of its West Africa Province group (ISWAP) carried out the "blitz attack" on the group in the Koure area, southwest of of the capital Niamey.

This "resulted in the killing of six of them after their capture, as well as two of their companions," a SITE translation of the statement said.

The six French nationals and their driver worked for international aid group ACTED and were touring the reserve, which is a popular destination for expatriates and was considered safe by the Nigerien government.

France and other countries have warned people against travelling to parts of Niger where militants including Boko Haram and ISWAP operate.

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Aaron Ross and Toby Chopra)

((alessandra.prentice@thomsonreuters.com; +380 44 244 9150; Reuters Messaging: alessandra.prentice.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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