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Detained French Journalists in Niger Granted Bail

Two French journalists who were arrested in Niger for reporting on rebels have been released after paying bail.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says Thomas Dandois and Pierre Creisson left a prison compound outside Niger's capital, Niamey, late Friday.

It says the two men were headed for the French embassy and plan to leave the country on an overnight flight.

The journalists were arrested last month after defying the Niger government's ban on foreign reporters covering a northern rebellion.

Officials in Niger say the journalists were allowed into the country to report on bird flu, but instead went to the north of the country to interview ethnic Tuareg rebels.

Dandois and Creisson were charged with undermining state security -- a charge that carries the death penalty.

The journalists have acknowledged their actions were a breach of the government's restrictions.

The Niger government recently declared a state of alert in the northern Agadez region, where Tuareg rebels have been attacking government troops.

The rebels are demanding to be integrated into the army, and they want a bigger share of profits from the uranium mines located in their desert area.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.