Niger says Areva plant halts production after attack

PARIS Thu May 23, 2013 9:16am EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - A uranium mine in northern Niger run by French nuclear reactor maker Areva is "badly damaged" and has stopped production for the moment after it was attacked earlier in the day, Niger government spokesman Marou Amadou said on Thursday.

Speaking on France Inter radio, Amadou said the crushing and grinding units at the Somair mine near Arlit had been particularly hit.

"It's enough to stop the mine for now," he said.

Suicide bombers struck a military barracks and the Areva mine earlier on Thursday, killing and wounding several people in separate attacks that showed the fight against Islamist militants was spreading across West Africa.

Amadou said some 30 people had been injured in Arlit, including one seriously.

(Reporting by John Irish and Yves Clarisse; Editing by James Regan)

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