Unidentified gunmen on motorcycles killed eight people on Sunday at a wildlife reserve in Niger. They included six French humanitarian workers, their Nigerien driver, and their guide, according to Nigerien and French authorities. No one has claimed responsibility but French authorities are calling this a terrorist attack

The group of French humanitarian workers from the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) and IMPACT Initiatives Inc. had traveled to the Kouré reserve about 40 miles from the capital of Niamey. The group of four men and four women had been at the reserve for less than an hour when they were attacked by men on motorcycles, shot and killed. Their vehicle was set on fire and some of the victims were burned as well.

The victims passed through a government checkpoint at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Just 40 minutes later, a bus coming from the direction the group had traveled, informed staff at the checkpoint that an attack had taken place only four miles back.

ACTED’s Development Director Frederic Roussel stated that the victims were between 25 and 50 years old. He condemned the killings and asked the media to respect the privacy of the victims, who have not yet been identified.

“It is with profound grief that we confirm the death of seven of our colleagues as well as their guide in Niger who were senselessly and cowardly murdered by armed individuals in the Kouré area, south-east of Niamey, on August 9th, 2020.”

“ACTED and IMPACT Initiatives condemn in the strongest terms the senseless and barbaric killing of our colleagues and their guide. At this tragic moment, our thoughts are with their families and loved ones at home and in Niger… We request that the media and the general public respect the dignity and the privacy of the victims.”

“Aid workers must never be a target. Our colleagues have been working to support the people of Niger facing hardship, driven by values of humanity and solidarity,” Roussel added.

Kadri Abdou, the President of the Association of Kouré’s Giraffe Guides, who was guiding the group, was among the victims of Sunday’s attack. The Association of Kouré’s Giraffe Guides released a statement confirming that Abdou was killed.