Terrorists target Areva site

23 May 2013

UPDATED - Areva announced that one person had died during the attack at Somair and that 14 people had been injured. Earlier reports suggested there had been no fatalities and 13 injuries.

Areva has confirmed that 15 people were injured in a terrorist attack at its Somair uranium mine in Niger, one of which later died the same day. The site was the target of one of two simultaneous attacks in the north-west of the country.

The French company issued a press release confirming the attack, which happened at around 5:30 am on 23 May. The mine was one of two targets in Niger hit simultaneously by car bombs, with AFP reporting that the jihadist Mujao group had claimed responsibility for the attacks. The terrorists' other target was a military barracks in Agadez, where at least 17 soldiers are thought to have died according to the BBC, citing Niger's defence minister.

The people injured at Somair, in the town of Arlit, are being cared for by local emergency services.

Areva condemned the "heinous" attack. "Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, as well as all of our employees present in Niger. We express our solidarity with the government and the people of Niger during this shared ordeal," the company said in a statement.

Rebel groups have previously targeted overseas uranium workers in Niger. Four French workers were kidnapped and later released in 2008, while four French nationals including an Areva employee from a group of seven who were kidnapped from Arlit in 2010 remain in captivity.

Researched and written
for World Nuclear News

Filed under: Workforce, Mining, Niger