Al Jazeera TV Says Reporting Team Held in Niger for Three Days

A four-member Al Jazeera Television reporting team was detained three days ago in Niger’s southern town of Zinder, Al Jazeera Media Network said.

The team, including correspondent Yvonne Ndege, camera operator Romuald Luyindula, producer Mohammed Abubakar and driver Rabiu Abdullahi, has been held “in harsh conditions without any further information regarding their release,” the Doha, Qatar-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. It called on the Niger government to release them.

Niger has seen an upsurge of violence by Islamist groups targeting government institutions and Western interests in the past year. Bomb attacks on May 23 at a military base and an uranium mine run by French company Areva SA left at least 23 people dead.

Nigeria, its southern neighbor, is fighting an insurgency by Boko Haram Islamists who want shariah rule. More than 8,000 people have fled Nigeria’s northeast to neighboring countries, most to landlocked Niger, after troops began an offensive against the Islamist insurgents last month.

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