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Suicide bombers strike in Niger towns

23 May 2013, 10:21

Niamey - Two suicide bombers struck on Thursday at a military barracks and a plant run by French nuclear group Areva in northern Niger, military and company sources said.

The bombers killed themselves and wounded at least four people in the attacks in the towns of Agadez and Arlit, the sources said.

They were the first suicide attacks in Niger since a French-led offensive in January to oust Islamist rebels from neighbouring northern Mali, in which the Nigerien army is participating as part of a West African force. Islamists in Mali have carried out a spate of suicide attacks in recent months.

"A suicide bomber in a four-wheel-drive vehicle broke through the entry barrier at Agadez military base on Thursday at around 5 a.m.," a military officer said. "Our soldiers opened fire on the bomber, who detonated his explosives. We have at least three wounded in our ranks."

An Areva employee, who asked not to be identified, said another bombing took place at around the same time in the northern mining town of Arlit at a factory owned by the Somair uranium mining company, operated by the French firm.

"He blew himself up and is the only person killed," the employee said. "There are some injured, included one seriously wounded person who has been taken to hospital."

A spokesperson for Areva in Paris had no immediate comment.

- Reuters


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