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Niger declares emergency in areas flanking restive Mali
|Niger declares emergency in areas flanking restive Mali by Flex: 10:33 am On March 4, 2017|
Niger on Friday declared a state of emergency in several western areas flanking Mali after a spate of deadly attacks blamed on jihadists from its restive neighbour.
A government statement read on state television said a state of emergency would be enforced in seven departments of the regions of Tillaberi and Tahoua.
Security forces would now be granted additional powers including the right to search homes at any time, it said.
The zones affected are “Ouallam, Ayorou, Bankilare, Abala and Banibangou in Tillaberi and Tassara and Tilia in Tahoua”.
These include a late February attack in Ouallam which killed 16 soldiers and wounded 18. And in October, 22 soldiers died in Tahoua during a daring assault on a refugee camp.
Niger shares its southern border with Nigeria which has been struggling with a bloody seven-year uprising by the Boko Haram extremist group that has so far claimed more than 20,000 lives.
In 2015, Niger declared a state of emergency in the southeastern region of Diffa after deadly raids by Boko Haram fighters.
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