In Niger, « heavy gunfire », including « heavy weapons », was heard on Tuesday night in the area of the Presidency, in Niamey, the capital of this West African country.
« It was around 3:00 am (02:00 GMT), we heard heavy and light gunfire and it lasted fifteen minutes before ceasing, followed by small arms fire, everything then stopped, » said AFP, a resident of the Plateau district in Niamey, which houses the offices and presidential residence. Another witness said that « the shooting lasted about twenty minutes ».
« The shooting was intense, there were heavy weapons and small arms, » said another resident of Niamey. But « the situation became calm again at around 4am ». The online newspaper actuniger.com said that « heavy gunfire rang out around 3am towards the Presidency and other parts of the city centre ».
This incident occurred some 24 hours before the official inauguration ceremony of the new president, Mohamed Bazoum, protégé of the outgoing head of state Mahamadou Issoufou. On the other side, the opposition, led by Mahamane Ousmane, continues to contest the results of the last presidential election.