At least two killed, 18 wounded as French convoy faces new protests in Niger

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At least two people were killed and 18 injured in western Niger on Saturday when protesters clashed with a French military convoy they blocked after it crossed the border from Burkina Faso.

According to the Niger government, the armored vehicles and logistics trucks had crossed the border on Friday after being blocked in Burkina Faso for a week by demonstrations there against French forces’ failure to stop mounting violence by Islamist militants.

Anger about France’s military presence in its former colonies has been rising in Niger, Burkina Faso, and other countries in West Africa’s Sahel region where France has thousands of troops to fight affiliates of al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Last weekend, hundreds of people in the Burkinabe city of Kaya blocked the French convoy, which is on its way from Ivory Coast to Mali.

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