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AREVA’s nuclear workers kidnapped by al-Qaida in Niger

Six of the seven hostages worked at a huge uranium mine in northern Niger run by French state-owned nuclear power giant Areva. The seventh was married to an Areva employee…….

France’s Sarkozy calls Niger kidnappings worrying By JENNY BARCHFIELD (AP) – 23 Sept 10, PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed on Wednesday to mobilize his government to free five French people abducted last week by an al-Qaida affiliate in Niger, calling it a “very serious and worrying affair,” according to a government spokesman.Al-Qaida’s North African branch has claimed responsibility for last Thursday’s abductions, in which armed men snatched the five, plus two of their African colleagues, and the French Foreign Ministry confirmed the authenticity of the claim.The French military has flown reconnaissance jets over the Sahara to search for the hostages. France has a military presence in some of its former colonies in West Africa……
Six of the seven hostages worked at a huge uranium mine in northern Niger run by French state-owned nuclear power giant Areva. The seventh was married to an Areva employee…….
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility in a recording broadcast Tuesday by the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera. On the recording, a member of the group said it would issue its demands to the French government shortly. The group operates throughout a broad swath of desert countries in northwest Africa and has increasingly targeted French interests there……
Chatel said the French government had warned Areva of the increased danger of kidnappings in the area……Areva, which gets about one-third of its uranium in Niger, has acknowledged that security “breakdowns” existed before the abductions. On Tuesday, Areva confirmed it had received a letter from an official in Niger on Sept. 1 warning the company of intelligence about a plot to abduct foreigners and confiscate military materials in the area.

The Associated Press: France’s Sarkozy calls Niger kidnappings worrying

September 23, 2010 - Posted by | Niger, safety, Uranium | , , , , ,

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