Shooting breaks out near Niger base

2013-06-12 07:53

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Niamey - Shooting erupted late on Tuesday near a college for Niger's paramilitary police in a suburb of the capital, the minister of defines said.

Nearby residents who were contacted by telephone said they were hunkered down, and a battle appeared to be in progress.

"I can confirm that there is shooting near the Ecole de la Gendarmerie," said Minister of Defence Karidjo Mahamadou, referring to the college on the outskirts of Niamey. He declined to give further details, saying, "No, we do not know who the gunmen are."

Niger is still reeling from back-to-back terrorist attacks in the past month, including the largest in its history on May 23, when suicide bombers aligned with al-Qaeda attacked a military base and a French-run uranium mine, killing three dozen people.

On June 1, suspected jihadists attacked the prison in Niamey in a jail break that freed 22 prisoners. Those freed included a member of al-Qaeda's North African branch, whose alleged crimes included killing a U.S. serviceman.

Abdou Sadi, whose house is not far from the college, said the shooting Tuesday was still going on at around 11 p.m. local time. "The camp where they train the gendarmes recruits seems to have been attacked," he said. "We can hear shots ringing out throughout our neighbourhood. It appears that the combat is still happening."

Niger, one of the world's poorest nations, is in the crosshairs of the al-Qaeda-linked groups which until recently were based in Mali. French President Francois Hollande unilaterally authorized a military intervention in Mali in January, after that country's president asked for help to stave off an advance by the al-Qaida fighters. French troops have since been joined by African forces from most of Mali's neighbours, including Niger, which sent a battalion of several hundred.

The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of the groups that claimed responsibility for the May 23 attack, had warned that any African country that sends soldiers to Mali will pay the consequences.

Callimachi contributed to this report from Dakar, Senegal.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  niger  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.