Tuareg-led rebels in Niger's desert north attacked a military convoy carrying food and provisions to the oasis town of Iferouane, killing at least three soldiers, the government said late on Tuesday. The rebel Niger Movement for Justice said its fighters destroyed nine military vehicles.
Tuareg-led rebels in Niger said late on Tuesday they had killed 15 government soldiers in a clash at Gougaram in the West African country's remote Saharan north, where uranium is mined. The rebel group said a large convoy of military vehicles had advanced towards the town of Iferouane on Monday, prompting Tuesday's clash.
Niger's ruling party has backed growing demands for peace talks with Saharan rebels, piling pressure on President Mamadou Tandja to sit down with the authors of a bloody five-month-old uprising. The Niger Movement for Justice has attacked government and mining interests in Niger's mineral-rich north.