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Niger government confirms military coup attempt thwarted

By DALATOU MAMANE | Associated Press | Published: March 31, 2021

NIAMEY, Niger — Niger's security forces thwarted an attempted military coup at the West African country's presidential palace overnight just two days before the newly elected president is to be sworn into office in a peaceful transfer of power, the government said Wednesday.

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The coup attempt comes amid an upsurge in Islamic militant attacks, including unprecedented massacres in villages near Niger's troubled border with Mali, with the most recent wave of attacks killing at least 137 civilians.

"Several people have been arrested and others linked to the events are being actively sought," read the statement by government spokesman Abdourahmane Zakaria.