France ramps up security under Mali threat

Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:46 AM

PARIS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- France is increasing its military presence at uranium mines in Niger and at key public sites at home after threats from Islamic rebels in Mali, officials said.

France is among the nations sending troops to aid Mali's army against Islamic militants in control of the northern part of the country. Threats from the militants have caused France to ramp up security in Arlit and Imouraren in Niger where French nuclear company, Areva, mines much of the uranium France uses for fuel, The New York Times reported Friday.

In 2010, seven Areva workers were kidnapped in Arlit by al-Qaida. Three were released in February 2011, but four are still being held.

Meanwhile, there has been an increased police and army presence at French government buildings, tourist sites, and subway and railway stations, the Times reported.

French President Francois Hollande has traded out his hybrid vehicle for an armored one already part of the presidential fleet.

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