France warns of retaliation as pro-junta protestors storm embassy in Niger

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French embassy in Niger came under attack on Sunday, its door lit on fire, as Nigerian forces attempted to break the crowd

France warned it would retaliate if its citizens were attacked, after protesters tried to enter its embassy in the capital, Niamey.

“Should anyone attack French nationals, the army, diplomats and French interests, they will see France respond in an immediate and intractable manner,” the French president's office said, adding that French President Emmanuel Macron “will not tolerate any attack against France and its interests.”

“France also supports all regional initiatives” aimed at “restoring constitutional order” and the return of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, Macron's office said, as the West African regional bloc ECOWAS was readying to discuss the Niger coup during a summit in Nigeria.

Thousands of pro-junta protesters gathered outside the embassy after Paris suspended aid over a coup, some trying to enter the building, an AFP journalist saw.

Some demonstrators ripped off and stamped on a plaque bearing the words “Embassy of France in Niger,” replacing it with Niger and Russian flags, while others shouted “long live Russia,” “long live Putin” and “down with France.”

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