Fourth Saudi tourist dead after attack in Niger
The fourth victim of an assault on Saudi Arabian tourists by unidentified gunmen in Niger has died in a hospital in the capital city of Niamey, PressTV reported.
The Saudi tourists who were in Niger on a wild-goose hunting trip were travelling in a three car caravan through the western region of Tillaberi headed to Mali's Gao region, said Niger's regional governor Ider Adamou on a radio interview on Tuesday.
They had stopped for their morning prayers at about 06:00 a.m. local time when they were attacked.
Gunfire was exchanged between the two sides as one of the Saudi tourists attempted to defend himself. The conflict killed three tourists on site and left another three injured, one of whom was shot in the chest and died after surgery.
Even though the identity and motive of the assault is not yet clear, both Tuareg rebels and al-Qaeda militants are known to be active in Tillaberi.
However, Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled bin Saud told Al-Arabiya TV that there is "no proof" that al-Qaeda was involved in the incident.
"It appears to us so far that it was a robbery," Saud said.
Niger government spokesman Mamane Kassoum Moktar told the Associated Press that the two tour guides accompanying the Saudis were found on Monday in Ayerou village close to the vicinity of the attack with their hands tied.
Niger's Communication Minister Kassoum Moctar condemned the attack saying, "Niger's government deplores these barbarous acts that were unfortunately perpetrated on its territory, and offers its condolences to the Saudi government."