Niger president says Libyan militants behind deadly bombings

May 26, 2013 at 10:50 AM

NIAMEY, Niger, May 26 (UPI) -- Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said the suicide bombers who carried out two attacks that killed 20 people came from Libya.

Nineteen soldiers were killed and more than a dozen injured Thursday in Agadez when a vehicle drove into a barracks and exploded. One person was killed and 14 others injured in a separate suicide attack later in the morning at a mining operation owned by uranium mining group Areva in Arlit.

"The assailants, according to all the information that we've acquired, came from southern Libya," Issoufou told France 24 Saturday, adding that Libya is a "destabilizing force" in the region.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, leader of the Islamic military group behind the attack on the In Amenas gas complex in Algeria where 39 oil workers died, claimed responsibility for the Niger attacks, the Libya Herald reported.

The Libyan government had not responded to Issoufou's assertion, the newspaper said.

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