Thursday, 23 May 2013

'Al Qaeda' Twin Bomb Attacks In Niger Kill 25

Twin suicide bomb attacks by militants at an army barracks and a French-run uranium mine 100 miles apart kill up to 25 people.

According to reports, dozens of people were killed in the blasts, including 18 soldiers. The attackers are holding army recruits hostage at the Agadez base, the Niger’s authorities have released.

Niger’s Interior Minister Abdou Labo said that 13 persons were injured and that six of them suffered serious injuries. Defense Minister Mahamadou Karidjo described the attackers as "redskins", in a reference to members of the country's Tuareg and Arab groups. Some 30 minutes after the first blast, a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-laden four-by-four at the Somair uranium mine some 250 kilometers north of Agadez.

The attacks are believed to have been carried out by Islamic extremists based in neighbouring Mali but A member of the Niger government said responsibility for the attack had been claimed by the MUJWA militant group, an al Qaeda-linked West African militant group.

The attack on the barracks resulted in a fierce gun battle. Security forces returned the town to calm but one attacker was still holding soldiers hostage, officials said.

Another spokesman, Abdou Labo, said in a press conference: "We have 19 dead in Agadez, 18 soldiers and a civilian," adding that four suicide bombers were killed in the blast.

"A fifth bomber has locked himself up in an office with several trainee officers as hostages," he added.

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