2 die after soldiers clash with armed men in Niger

AP News
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Posted: Jun 14, 2011 5:47 AM
2 die after soldiers clash with armed men in Niger

Niger's defense ministry says that two people died in clashes between security forces and armed men in a mining town in Niger.

A statement by Niger's Ministry of Defense on state TV late Monday says that one soldier and an attacker were killed in fighting Sunday and at least six men were injured near the uranium mining town of Arlit.

The ministry says the army also destroyed a vehicle after seizing more than 680 explosives, several small arms and $90,000. It says that the army is pursuing other assailants who escaped and are heading north toward Libya and Algeria.

The Niger army has strengthened patrols in the country's mining zones because of the presence of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Niger's northern deserts and even the capital, Niamey, have been the scene of kidnappings linked to al-Qaida terrorists.