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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid