Armed men killed eight people in a late night attack on French drilling company Foraco’s water well site in south-eastern Niger.
“A 2 am local time, a group of terrorists attacked the small building where a Foraco team was sleeping and killed seven and a civil servant,” the company said in a statement.
Five other employees were wounded, with two in serious condition, it said. The workers were drilling two deep water wells for the water ministry in south-eastern Niger’s Diffa region.
A security source told Reuters the assailants are believed to belong to Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram, which is active near the border with Nigeria.
Boko Haram has been trying since 2009 to establish an Islamic state in north-east Nigeria and launched repeated attacks into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Thousands of civilians died in the violence.
Marseille-based Foraco is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and says it is the third largest global mineral driller with mining and water projects across 22 countries.