Many killed in Niger clashes

At least 17 die in fighting between government forces and Tuareg fighters.

    Tuareg fighters are demanding more autonomy for the region [EPA]

    Among the dead was a senior Tuareg member, the government statement said.

     

    The Tuareg fighters, allies of the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ), said on its website that 26 soldiers died in two other separate clashes in the area, along with seven of its own fighters.

     

    The government operation to recapture Tezirzait was announced by Niger's defence ministry following the release of four French hostages by the MNJ on Wednesday. The French were abducted on Sunday.

     

    Both the Tuaregs and the MNJ demand greater autonomy for the West African region and a bigger share of its mineral wealth for local people. 

     

    Encouraged by rising world prices for uranium, the radioactive fuel for nuclear reactors, Niger hopes to become the world's 2nd largest uranium producer by 2011. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Assad to Putin: Thank you for 'saving our country'

    Assad to Putin: Thank you for 'saving our country'

    Russian and Syrian presidents meet to discuss strategy against 'terrorism' and political settlement options.

    What is behind the covert Israeli-Saudi relations?

    What is behind the covert Israeli-Saudi relations?

    Analysts say that the recent covert ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia are due to a new regional paradigm.

    Is Saudi Arabia becoming a danger to the region?

    Is Saudi Arabia becoming a danger to the region?

    We talk to US Congressman Ro Khanna about power politics and debate Mohammed bin Salman's new strategy for the Kingdom.