- Over the past six months, at least 17 loyal soldiers were killed by rebel of the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ.
However, the news unearthed by ‘Air Info’, a bi-twice monthly private paper unearthed has failed to give the number killed at the battle front.
The paper’s findings uncover allegations that the rebels had stolen large quantity of weapons from the Nigerien soldiers. In the process, the Agadez region reportedly had recorded a lost of more than 9,600 ammunition, 39 light and heavy weapons. It was also alleged that the MNJ rebels seized 30 grenades and two vehicles from Tchirozerine armoury.
There were reports of escape of 21 loyal soldiers from Agadez military barracks, resulting the sacking of the area, Captain Rhissa Fankaro, on 22 May. He is said to be with the command in the capital Niamey.
Frequent cases of absconding have been reported among Nigerien soldiers since the rebels launched their first attack on Iferouane military base on 8 February.
This development had heightened security fears and concerns in northern Niger where uranium exploration by foreign companies are in full gears.
Despite all the troubles faced by its citizens as a result of the rebel skirmishes, the Niger government flatly refused to negotiate with officials of MNJ, describing them as a group of armed gangsters.
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