Niger sends helicopters to Mali border after militant attack

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2014 4:24 PM

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Niger sent army helicopters to its western border with Mali on Wednesday to repel unidentified militants who crossed over to attack the town of Bani-Bangou, residents and military sources said.

Residents said that the attackers had arrived on trucks and motorcycles during the afternoon before exchanging fire with Niger's security forces. It was not immediately clear if the clashes were continuing.

"Clashes took place with our armed forces and there was gunfire, including heavy weapons fire," said a resident from a nearby village who asked not to be named.

(Reporting by Abdoulaye Massalaki; Writing by Emma Farge; editing by Ralph Boulton)