Fifteen civilians have been killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants on a border village in southeastern Niger, state television has reported, the latest deadly raid by the Islamist group.
The attack followed two months of calm in the area and took place as Muslims marked Eid al-Adha, the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar.
"We found a dreadful scene, around 15 people had been executed, four of whom were from Nigeria," Hassan Ardo, an official from the Diffa governorate told the Tele Sahel television station.
The attackers had also torched 22 houses, a car and a mill, he said, and left four others wounded.
The station said the attack took place on Thursday night and was carried out by about a dozen armed militants who had arrived on foot at the village on the banks of the Komadougou Yobe river on the border with Nigeria.
One of the victims was the village chief, the Afani private radio station reported.
Niger, whose primary source of foreign income is uranium, has joined a regional military alliance, alongside Chad, Niger and Nigeria, to fight Boko Haram, infamous for mass abductions, village massacres and suicide bombings by women and teenagers.
Since February this year, the southern Diffa region has suffered several deadly Boko Haram raids.
In June, 38 civilians were killed - including 10 children - in a Boko Haram attack targeting two villages close to Diffa.
In July, the Islamists raided Diffa prison in a likely bid to free detained members, killing a guard. The same month Boko Haram militants killed 16 civilians in an attack on a southeastern Niger village.
Diffa lies on the border with northeast Nigeria, where the Islamists have waged a bloody uprising since 2009, leaving at least 15,000 dead and more than two million others homeless.