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Rebellion in Northern Niger Exacts Large Human, Economic Toll

John Liebhardt Thursday, March 20, 2008

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso -- Although it has received scant coverage in the international press, the year-old rebellion in the northern half of Niger has exacted a tremendous cost in the West African nation in both human and economic terms.

For starters, at least 50 government soldiers have been killed by the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ), the Tuareg-led group spearheading the rebellion. The MNJ also has captured more than 50 soldiers and, in January, they grabbed a regional governor during a daring raid on a northern town. The rebels have also been blamed for laying land mines throughout the northern part of the country, which have caused at least 80 casualties, reported Human Rights Watch. ...

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