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France Rejects Niger Accusations Over ‘Terrorists’ and Air Space

A soldier stands guard at sunset as France’s President and Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou (unseen) take part in a military ceremony at the Martyr Quarter on December 22, 2019, in Niamey, to pay homage to 71 Nigerien soldiers massacred in an attack on December 10 at the Inates military camp in the Sahel country’s western Tillaberi region. (Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

According to a government source, the French government dismisses Niger’s new military authorities’ claims that it freed “terrorists” and violated the country’s airspace.

 

Niamey accused France of releasing seven extremists and allowing a military plane to fly over its territory.

 

However, a French government official told AFP that the flight in issue was “authorised by and coordinated with” Niger’s military forces.

 

The dictatorship said that France permitted a military plane to take off from neighboring Chad on Wednesday and cross into Niger, breaching a prohibition imposed on Sunday.

 

France has around 1,500 troops in Niger to support the country in its fight against jihadists who swept in from Mali in 2015.

 

Responding to the claim that France had released jihadists in Niger, the French government source said that “no terrorist has been freed by French forces”.

Written by PH

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