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Niger Jihadist Raid Shows Speed Of Islamic State Expansion



Niger Jihadist Raid Shows Speed Of Islamic State Expansion

By Pauline Bax and Katarina Hoije

The killing of 71 soldiers in Niger, which had been spared the surge in major militant attacks that have destabilized Mali and Burkina Faso, shows that Islamic State is expanding at breakneck speed across West Africa.

The raid on the Inates base, less than 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the capital, Niamey, is the deadliest-ever on Niger’s army and follows a spate of attacks on military outposts in neighboring Mali that left more than 100 troops dead last month. It also came days before leaders of five West African nations were due to convene in France on Dec. 16 to discuss security and the French military deployment in the region as anti-French sentiment escalates. French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday postponed the summit to January because of the attack.

“If we look at what’s been happening of late, Islamic State has increased its mobility, its power and its access to resources,” Former Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga told Radio France Internationale on Friday. Maiga and his government resigned in April after about 160 people villagers in Mali’s center died in inter-communal fighting, one of the country’s worst massacres to date.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-13/jihadist-raid-in-niger-shows-speed-of-islamic-state-expansion