At least 25 people have been killed in a terrorist attack on two communities in the west African state of Niger.
Heavily armed militants attacked the towns of Tebaram and Bakorat in the west of the country, not far from the border with Mali, Interior Minister Alkache Alha said late on Wednesday.
Numerous buildings, including health centres and a town hall, were burned down in the attack, Alha said.
Several armed groups are active in Niger and other countries in the Sahel region of western and north-central Africa.
Some have pledged allegiance to the Al-Qaeda or Islamic State terrorist networks.
Niger, with has a population of 23 million, has suffered repeated heavy attacks, especially in the regions bordering Mali.
The government has little control in the desert-like expanses outside the cities - a situation exploited by jihadist groups as well as criminal networks including people smugglers.