Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gunfire erupts in Niger capital in apparent coup bid

Smoke was seen rising from the presidential palace amid heavy gunfire in Niger's capital, Niamey, on Thursday in an apparent coup attempt. "We can hear gunshots from time to time but ... the president is in his office," a security source inside the presidential palace told Reuters by telephone. Witnesses said machine gun and heavy weapons fire erupted in the city at about noon GMT and that smoke was rising from the presidential palace. A Reuters witness later saw five injured soldiers at a hospital in Niamey.

Niger President Mamadou Tandja and his cabinet are being held by soldiers after gun battles in the capital. Gunfire broke out around the presidential palace at about 1300 (1200 GMT) and continued for 30 minutes, says the BBC's Idy Baraou in Niamey. State radio is playing military music - a similar pattern to two coups in the 1990s. Tensions have been growing in the uranium-rich nation since last year. Mr Tandja was widely criticised when he changed the constitution in August to allow him to stand for a third term.



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I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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