Islamists kill 20 in suicide attacks in Niger

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May 23, 2013 16:16

 
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NIAMEY - Islamist suicide bombers struck a barracks and a French-run uranium mine in Niger on Thursday, officials said, killing 20 people and wounding dozens in attacks that showed armed unrest spreading across West Africa.

In Agadez, the largest town in northern Niger, at least 20 soldiers were killed and 16 injured when suicide bombers attacked a barracks at dawn, Defence Minister Mahamadou Karidjo told state radio. Three Islamists were also killed.

After a fierce gun battle, security forces returned the town to calm but one attacker was still holding soldiers hostage, military sources and local officials said.

Further north in Arlit, at least 14 civilians were injured and two Islamists killed in a car bomb attack at the Somair uranium mine operated by run by French nuclear group Areva , the minister said.

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