Bulgarian, Belgian police allowed to leave Niger

22nd February 2010, Comments 0 comments

Bulgarian and Belgian police officers were given permission to leave Niger on Friday, a day after a military coup that saw them confined to their hotel, Bulgaria's foreign ministry said.

SOFIA - The 10 Bulgarian and 16 Belgian officers "are expected to be flown to Belgium later Friday," the ministry said, citing information from a Belgian crisis centre.

The news came as Niger's new ruling junta announced that it would lift a curfew and reopen the borders of the west African state Friday, a day after ousting president Mamadou Tandja.

The police officers were in Niamey "for the repatriation of foreigners who had been living illegally in the European Union," the Bulgarian ministry said earlier Friday.

They had been holed up at a hotel "probably for their own safety" after Thursday's coup which saw Niger's air space closed and had prevented their plane from leaving, the ministry added.


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