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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid