Seven Niger election officials killed in mine explosion

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Seven election workers were killed and three others were injured on Sunday in Niger’s restive western Tillaberi region after the vehicle they were travelling in hit a mine, a local official said.

The incident happened in Dargol town about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Nigerien capital Niamey in what is known as the tri-border region, where Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge.

According to the regional governor, Tidjani Katiella, the heads of polling stations were among the casualties.

Katiella, who spoke to AFP, said that the officials had been dispatched by the regional office of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to observe the presidential election runoff between Mohamed Bazoum and former president Mahamane Ousmane.

Voting for the second round of Niger’s presidential election began on Sunday as more than 7.4 million Nigeriens are expected to choose the successor of outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou.

Tillabéri, a large and volatile region, has been under a state of emergency since 2017. It was the scene one of the worst civilian massacres suffered by West African country early last month as at least 100 people were killed during an attack on two villages.

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