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France Sends Backup to Niger after 16 Troops Killed

France is to send a contingent of counterterror forces to help the army in Niger after militants ambushed a military patrol killing 16, the defense ministry said. 

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Niger Hunts Kidnapped U.S. Aid Worker

Niger has launched an army operation to hunt down a kidnapped American aid worker, the west African country's interior minister said Saturday.

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50,000 Flee Boko Haram Attacks in Niger

About 50,000 people have fled a town in Niger's troubled southeast after deadly attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, the United Nations said Tuesday.

The attacks began Friday against a military post in Bosso in Niger's Diffa region, killing 26 soldiers including two from neighboring Nigeria.

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Boko Haram Refugees in Niger Feel 'Abandoned' by the World

"Take us away from this hell," said Boussam, a mother of seven cradling skeletal goats in Niger's Assaga camp, where thousands of desperate refugees fleeing Boko Haram Islamist insurgents are living in hunger.

She spoke to AFP in the south eastern camp near the border with Nigeria where some 6,000 people are crammed in U.N. tents in baking sun after being displaced by the violence.

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Six Civilians Killed by Boko Haram in Niger

At least six civilians were killed and seven injured in an attack by Boko Haram Islamist fighters in Niger on Thursday evening, according to the country's army.

Four of the victims were burned alive and two were shot dead during the attack near the south eastern garrison town of Bosso, close to the border with Nigeria, according to an army statement broadcast on state TV and radio Friday.

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Niger Begins Voting in Presidential Run-Off despite Boycott

Voters in Niger cast ballots in the country's first-ever presidential run-off Sunday, with incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou on track for a second term as the opposition observed a boycott.

The election pits 64-year-old Issoufou, a former mining engineer nicknamed "the Lion", against jailed opposition leader Hama Amadou, 66, known as "the Phoenix" for his ability to make political comebacks.

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Fears of Home-Grown Jihadist Violence Mount in Niger

Increasingly targeted by jihadist fighters roaming its remote northern desert, and Nigeria's feared Boko Haram insurgents on its southern flank, Niger fears the emergence of its own brand of home-grown Islamist trouble.

In recent years foreign-funded aid groups and social media have brought ideas peddled by Wahhabism -- an ultraconservative form of Islam -- to more and more of Niger's 19 million people, one of the planet's poorest nations.

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Niger's 'Lion' Seeks New Term as Voters Go to the Polls

Voters in Niger went to the polls Sunday in an election in which President Mahamadou Issoufou has promised a "knockout" blow to his opponents, one of whom is behind bars on baby-trafficking charges.

A vast nation endowed with an abundance of uranium, gold, coal and oil but among the poorest on the planet, Niger is electing a head of state, as well as a new parliament, with Issoufou hoping for a second five-year term.

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Six Niger Soldiers Killed by Mine near Nigerian Border

At least six Niger soldiers were killed on patrol when their vehicle hit a mine in the Diffa border region used by neighboring Nigeria's Boko Haram militants, local authorities and media said on Monday.

"An army vehicle ran over a mine causing deaths and injuries but we do not have the exact figures," Abari El Hadj Daouda, the mayor of the town of Kabalewa where the incident happened on Saturday, told AFP.

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Niger's President Says Coup Plot Foiled, Suspects Arrested

Niger's government has "foiled" a coup plot, resulting in a number of arrests, President Mahamadou Issoufou said in an address broadcast on national radio and television Thursday, adding that the situation was "under control".

The announcement came after local media and social media reports on Monday said at least four senior military officers had been arrested, information that was not immediately confirmed by the Niger authorities.

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