Niger arrests 9 more military officers who will face tribunal for reported coup attempt

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Niger's interior minister says authorities have arrested nine military officers for allegedly planning what the government says was an attempted coup.

Interior Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou said Sunday the officers will face a military tribunal. He said the arrests took place after a month-long surveillance operation.

Massaoudou says the coup was planned to take place this week during celebrations of the country's independence from France in 1960. It also comes just months before elections set for Feb. 21, 2016.

President Mahamadou Issoufou announced the arrest of several high-level political and military officials earlier this week.

Niger has a history of strongmen seizing power by force.

Issoufou warned a political vacuum could lead to more instability by Islamic extremists. Niger has seen extremist attacks for years, most recently by Boko Haram.