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Niger coup plot foiled, says president

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou has said his government has foiled a plot to overthrow him.

Mahamadou Issoufou
Mahamadou Issoufou

Mr Issoufou said the plotters planned to use “aerial firepower” to unseat him, in comments made on state TV.

He was elected in 2011, bringing to an end years of military rule. Niger has seen several coups since becoming independent in 1960.

Tensions are high ahead of next year’s presidential election, which Mr Issoufou is favourite to win.

“The government has just foiled an evil attempt at destabilisation,” he said.

“The objective of these individuals, motivated by I don’t know what, was to overthrow the democratically elected power.”

At least four senior military officials have been arrested, local media reported, but it is not clear why they were detained.

Shortly after Mr Issoufou’s election in 2011, 10 military figures were arrested for allegedly plotting to assassinate him. BBC

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