Results tagged “Niger”
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A Boko Haram cell planning attacks on Nigerien towns was arrested in Diffa. Although Niger still refuses to hand over Al-Saadi Gadhafi, a former high-ranking intelligence official in the Gadhafi regime has been extradited to Libya.
The first two of 12 French UAVs have been delivered to Niamey. The Reapers will support French operations in Mali, and are suspected to be earmarked for use in the Central African Republic soon as well.
Four Frenchmen taken hostage in September 2010 in Niger by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were freed. The men are thought to have spent most of their captivity in Mali, where they were freed. AQIM has bases in northern Mali. President Hollande of France credited Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou with obtaining their release.
A heavily armed member of a MUJAO cell near the Nigerian border was arrested by Nigerien authorities in Madaoua. The French-run Somair uranium mine has fully resumed production after it was bombed in a MUJAO attack last month.
President Issoufou is trying to form a unity government that is willing to confront the rising threat of Islamist terrorism in the Sahel region. Nigerien forces recently assisted the Nigerian JTF in the arrest of a Boko Haram leader who had fled to Karanga.
The Signed in Blood Brigade, led by al Qaeda-linked Mokhtar Belmokhtar, issued a statement claiming a June 1 jailbreak in Niamey. Several terrorists, including Cheibane Ould Hama of Mali, were said to be among at least 22 prisoners freed. Some 6,240 Nigerian refugees now in Niger who fled Boko Haram have been promised by Nigerian officials that they will soon be able to return to Borno state.
Gunmen attacked the central prison in Niamey, killing at least two guards and entering the facility, in an apparent attempt to free Boko Haram inmates. At least 10 people were injured in the attack, and police are said to be looking for attackers who escaped in a truck and into nearby houses. The government disputed the claim that gunmen had infiltrated from outside and said the attackers had been captured and that the situation was under control.
President Issoufou said that the jihadists who launched simultaneous suicide bombings on a military base and a uranium mine in Niger on May 23 were also planning attacks in neighboring Chad. The Niger attacks have been claimed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and by Mokhtar Belmokhtar's Those Who Sign in Blood brigade.
French special forces and Nigerian troops killed the last two members of the Mokhtar Belmokhtar group's suicide assault team that attacked a military barracks in Agadez. Two cadets were also killed during the raid. In all, 10 Islamist fighters, 24 Nigerien troops, and a civilian were killed in the suicide assaults in Agadez and at a uranium mine in Arlit. President Issoufou said the attackers had come from southern Libya.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar said that his Those Who Sign in Blood Brigade carried out yesterday's suicide attacks in Niger along with the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa. Belmokhtar also promised more attacks in Niger if the government does not withdraw its military from Mali.
The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa claimed credit for a pair of suicide attacks. In one attack, five members of a suicide assault team assaulted a barracks in Agadez, killing 18 soldiers and a civilian. In another attack, a suicide bomber attacked workers at a uranium mine in Arlit.
France is sending special forces to protect the Areva uranium mining sites at Imouraren and Arlit. France derives about 20 percent of the raw material for its nuclear reactors from Niger. Some French forces are said to have arrived in the past week.
President Mahamadou Issoufou said Niger is ready to help Mali retake areas seized by Islamists this spring. Issoufou and Malian president Dioncounda Traore called on the UN to endorse a planned military intervention in Mali, and urged Malian rebel movements to lay down their arms, sever ties with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and recognize Malian boundaries.
Gunmen kidnapped five aid workers and their driver in southeast Niger and headed for the Agadez region near the Malian border. Arabic was spoken by the gunmen. Al Qaeda-linked militants are suspected in the kidnapping.
The Justice Minister called for joint patrols with Nigerian forces along Niger's southern border to keep al Qaeda-linked insurgents out of Niger. Currently 3,000 Nigerien troops are deployed near the border with Mali, Algeria, and Libya, and special forces monitor the border with Nigeria. Five Boko Haram fighters were recently arrested in Zinder.
Security officials say militants from the al Qaeda-linked Boko Haram in Nigeria are transitting through Niger on their way to fight with Ansar Dine in Mali. Officials are concerned about the threat of radical Islam as Niger suffers increasing pressure from regional turmoil. US special forces are helping train Nigerien troops.
The European Union deployed a Capacity Building Mission team to Niger to help combat the spread of Islamist terror groups in the Sahel region. The 50-man-strong EUCAP team is described as a civilian mission, but includes military advisers.
The European Union will send 50 experts to Niger to train its security forces to counter the emerging al Qaeda threat in Africa's Sahel region. Niger, a major uranium exporter, needs assistance securing its border with Mali, where Islamists have seized half the country.
The military killed three al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb fighters during clashes near the Libyan border. The military released 59 "young fighters" who belong to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.