Mali Rebels Bomb French Uranium Mine in Niger, 26 Killed

Niger Soldiers Captured in Secondary Attack

by Jason Ditz, May 23, 2013

Suicide bombers attacked two sites in Niger today, including a French-operated uranium mine near Arlit and a Niger Army military camp, killing at least 26 people and wounding 30 others.

The attacks were claimed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), one of the Islamist factions in Northern Mali. They said the attacks were revenge for the French invasion of Mali.

The bombings were more than 100 miles apart and in heavily guarded areas, but MUJAO somehow managed to carry them out within a few minutes of one another. In addition, their fighters captured an unknown number of soldiers at the army camp. The Niger government is attempting to negotiate their release.

The French government condemned the attack and vowed to provide as much military support as needed to Niger to “crush” the rebels. The exact same uranium mine was attacked in 2010 by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and four French workers are still held hostage from that time.

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