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Cablegate: More Fighting Reported in Northern Niger

VZCZCXRO7075
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0995 2221147
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101147Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3689
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 3395
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0586
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY
RUFGCIN/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000995

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS PGOV EMIN NG
SUBJECT: MORE FIGHTING REPORTED IN NORTHERN NIGER

REF: NIAMEY 879

1. The website of the Mouvement des Nigeriens pour la
Justice (MNJ) on August 10 reported that on the night of
August 9/10 it attacked military camps in Tchirozerine (some
25 miles north of Agadez on the road to Arlit) and inflicted
heavy casualties on government forces. It reminds "those who
have forgotten" that it can suspend mining operations in the
north at any time. Government sources claim to have repelled
the attack and inflicted heavy casualties on the MNJ.

2. In a subsequent posting, the MNJ claimed that the Nigerien
armed forces fired five rounds at MNJ positions on the
outskirts of Agadez, striking a family and killing at least
two people. (The web site features a photo of a 120 mm
mortar round marked HE/TNT Lot 2340.) We have reports from
a number of sources in Agadez that there was gunfire there
last night and that two civilians were reportedly wounded,
and possibly killed. One report suggests that the MNJ
pursued soldiers from Tchirozerine into Agadez.

3. Tchirozerine is the location of the GON-owned Sonichar
coal mine which was attacked in early July (reftel). There
is also a coal-fired power plant there that supplies
electricity to the region, including the uranium mines near
Arlit.

4. Tripoli minimize considered.
KORAN

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