Soldiers launch coup against Niger president: sources

Soldiers opened fire Thursday in the Niger capital -- where explosions and long bursts of gunfire resounded across the city -- in what a top French official said was an coup attempt against President Mamadou Tandja.

Witnesses said the firing appeared to be centred on the presidency. State radio stayed silent on events, concentrating on playing traditional music as tensions erupted in the uranium-rich West African nation.

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