News / Africa

Suicide Bombers Attack Niger Military Barracks, Uranium Mine

Anne Look
— Niger's government said at least 20 soldiers and five suicide bombers were killed Thursday in attacks on a military base in the north-central town of Agadez and a French-owned uranium mine further north in Arlit.

Sources confirmed to VOA that one attacker in Agadez remains on the loose and is holding a few young officers hostage at the base. French media say the Islamist militant group MUJAO has claimed responsibility for the double attack as retribution for Niger's role in the French-led military intervention against them in northern Mali.

Witnesses said the twin attacks took place around 5:30 am local time Thursday.

In Agadez, a car exploded at the military barracks. Government spokesman Morou Amadou said multiple insurgents were involved.

He said some of the attackers were wearing explosive belts. He said they arrived in a vehicle that was rigged with explosives and then at some point got out and attacked, killing soldiers.

Agadez residents said they heard security forces clashing with insurgents at the barracks.

This resident, Hassane said he heard a large explosion around 5:30 a.m. followed by gunshots and heavy weapons fire. He said the town was calm by mid-morning, but military and police are stationed throughout the streets and have blocked off access to the military base.

A suicide car bomb also struck the French-owned Somair uranium mine further north in Arlit.

The Paris-based Areva nuclear energy firm said in a statement that the attack killed one person injured 14 and that Nigerien security forces are reinforcing security at their sites.

Niger has contributed troops to a West African regional force fighting Islamist militants in northern Mali.

The French-led military intervention began in January and has reclaimed much of the territory after the ten-month occupation by extremists. However, Islamist fighters have re-emerged to carry out guerilla attacks against Malian troops and regional targets.

A suicide car bomb targeted the barracks of Nigerien troops stationed in the northern Malian town of Menaka on May 10. The bomber was the only casualty.

Thursday's attack was the first inside Niger and so far the deadliest retribution for the Mali intervention since al-Qaida-linked fighters raided a BP natural gas plant in southern Algeria in late January, killing 38 hostages.

Niger's government has declared three days of national mourning.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid