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Monday, 20 April, 1998, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Opposition leaders arrested in Niger

The government of Niger says that three regional opposition leaders have been arrested after a weekend of political violence.

The Interior Minister, Souley Abdoulaye, said that the security forces were hunting four other opposition figures after protesters demanding the resignation of President Mainassara set fire to several buildings in the city of Zinder.

Mr Abdoulaye said those arrested would stand trial on charges of inciting violence, assault, arson and damanging public and private property.

Opposition groups have been calling for the resignation of the president since he won elections following the military coup which brought him to power in 1996.

They say the poll was rigged.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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