17,000 displaced by conflict in western Niger: UN

Thousands of people have been displaced in Niger, like the ones pictured in June 2016, though only 540 people have been registered as internally displaced

More than 17,000 people have been displaced by violence in western Niger's Tillaberi region, which has been hit by jihadist incursions from neighbouring Mali, the United Nations said Thursday.

In January, only 540 people in the region were registered as internally displaced, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

The tally may rise further as 74 villages in the border region are at "high risk" of an exodus, it said.

The zone has been under a state of emergency since March 2017.

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and aid groups have established a humanitarian corridor to bring food to two locations where thousands of displaced people are gathered.