Niger military JUNTA lifts curfew


Niger's new military rulers have lifted a curfew and reopened the country's borders, a day

after they overthrew the government and detained the president.

Ten people are said to have died when the junta seized power in gun battles - a move

which has been widely condemned.
The African Union has suspended Niger from the regional organisation and demanded

free elections are held.
A junta spokesman, Col Goukoye Abdul Karimou, earlier told the BBC President

Mamadou Tandja was "safe and well".
"We are taking care of him - remember he is one of our elder soldiers," he told the BBC's

Focus on Africa.
The colonel said most of the cabinet ministers captured along with the president had been

released and had gone home.
The three still being held would be free in a couple of days, he added.

It is believed they are being held at a military barracks in Niamey.

'Under control'
The day after the takeover, people in the capital were going about their business as

normal - attending mosques and going shopping.
There was no obvious military presence on the streets, although heavy artillery was

deployed around the presidential palace.

Announcing the lifting of a curfew and the reopening of borders on Friday, Col Abdul

Karimou told journalists the situation was now "under control".