Thousands in Niger rally to support coup

Thousands of people rallied in Niger's capital Niamey yesterday in support of their new military rulers after a coup ousted the strongman of the uranium-rich nation Mamadou Tandja.

A crowd of around 10,000 massed outside the parliament building in central Niamey following an appeal by an opposition coalition.

"This is a demonstration in support of the coup, we are celebrating the overthrow of the Tandja dictatorship," said former lawmaker Soumana Sanda.

On Friday, thousands of people spontaneously took to the streets to celebrate the coup, despite a chorus of condemnation from the United Nations and African Union, which has suspended the west African country from its ranks.

Heavily armed soldiers in armoured vehicles stormed the presidential palace on Thursday, killing three people before detaining Tandja and suspending the constitution.

 

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