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Hundreds arrested in bid to counter poverty-fuelled crime wave

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-31

Niger authorities arrested 618 suspects in raids aimed at curbing a crime wave in the capital, Niamey, where residents say serious food shortages and severe poverty have led to a surge in crime.

AFP - Police in Niger have rounded up 618 suspects in a bid to crack down on rising crime in the country, a police officer said on Wednesday.

"Operation Punch" carried out in several areas is aimed at eradicating banditry and robbery which has increased sharply in the capital," the police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The swoop was "unrelated" to the recent arrests of a dozen close aides of Niger ex-president Mamadou Tandja, including former ministers, for allegedly plotting against the new authorities who ousted him in February, the source said.

About 600 members of security forces were drafted for Monday night's operation combing through crime hotspots in Niamey, has seen a surge in robberies in recent weeks.

 

Date created : 2010-03-31

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