June 30, 2009 / 9:46 PM / in 10 years

Niger opposition leader released - witnesses

NIAMEY, June 30 (Reuters) - Niger’s main opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou was released on Tuesday after being detained earlier by the paramilitary gendarmerie, witnesses said.

A security source said he was picked up following his call on Niger’s forces to disobey orders from President Mamadou Tandja, whose plan for a referendum on extending his rule has sparked protests in the West African state.

Issoufou was surrounded by cheering supporters as he left the building.

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