Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Obama focuses efforts on US prison reform

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Democratic Republic of Congo: Inside Camp Garlic, a stronghold of ADF militia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Rousseff defends her track record

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

More debates on the economy, not on the burkini

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple set to face record tax penalty from EU

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Weiner strikes again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The rise of political tourism in the Middle East

Read more

Africa

Kidnappers of French employees had ‘inside information’

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-09-22

Nigerien kidnappers who seized employees of a French nuclear plant last week may have benefited from inside information from the company, a security consultant has claimed.

As French troops landed in Niger to step up the hunt for seven foreign nuclear workers (working for France's Areva) kidnapped last week by al Qaeda's North Africa branch, new information has emerged on how the abductors may have been able to break into the employee compound near the mining town of Arlit.

Colonel Jacques Hogard, an outside security consultant for the French nuclear group Areva said to RTL Radio Monday that the kidnappers “benefited from excellent information from inside Areva. That is clear. You can call it a betrayal.”

Hogard raised the possibility that the hostage-takers had initially planned to target a group of tourists from France and elsewhere, but having missed that target, then shifted their focus to the nuclear employee compound.

A man who worked for Areva and his wife were among those kidnapped last Thursday near the mining town in northern Niger. The other five victims worked for a subcontractor called Satom.

An Areva spokesman acknowledged Monday that security ''breakdowns'' existed before the abductions. The Niger government accused the company of refusing army protection in favour of its own private security guards. The guards were unarmed, which Areva said was not a security oversight, but rather in adherence to Nigerien law.

Areva declined to comment on Hogard's remarks. 

Areva is developing the site in the north of Niger and expected to put it into service in late 2013.

Date created : 2010-09-21

  • NIGER

    French troops land in Niger amid row over Areva security

    Read more

  • NIGER

    Niger govt blames Areva over kidnapped French workers

    Read more

COMMENT(S)