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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 09:53 GMT
Niger reporter killed by landmine
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The director of a private radio station in Niger has been killed in a landmine explosion in the capital, Niamey.

Abdou Mahaman ran over the device in his car. A woman travelling with him was seriously injured.

He is the third civilian to die in explosions in the south since December, when the government accused Tuareg-led rebels of widening a northern revolt.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the explosion and it is unclear whether Mr Mahaman was deliberately targeted.

The BBC's Idy Baraou in Niamey says the journalist was not known to be critical of either side.

But he says the suburb of the capital where the explosion took place - Yantala - is home to top army officers, including the chief of staff.

An electricity plant supplying Niamey is also close by.

The attack is the first of its kind in the capital since the start of Tuareg-led rebellion last February.

Journalists banned

Forensic experts at the scene say a second landmine was buried at the side of the road, but did not explode.

Journalists are banned from visiting the north of the country to interview leaders of the Niger Justice Movement (MNJ).

The rebels launched their uprising last year, demanding greater autonomy for the region, which is rich in uranium.

Two French journalists were arrested in December for ignoring the ban and charged with colluding with armed rebels.

Two local journalists have also been in jail for several months on similar charges

Nearly 50 government troops have been killed in attacks blamed on rebels.

SEE ALSO
Niger raids leaves 'ghost town'
19 Nov 07 |  Africa
Q&A: Tuareg unrest
07 Sep 07 |  Africa
Country profile: Niger
16 May 07 |  Country profiles

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