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Niger accepts foreign forces from Mali to combat jihadist threat

DAKAR (Reuters) -Niger has accepted that French and European special forces will cross into its territory from neighbouring Mali to combat jihadists and try to secure the border with the West African state, Niger’s president said on Twitter on Friday. In his first comments since France said on Thursday that it would leave Mali along with its military allies, President Mohamed Bazoum said the forces would be able to respond to threats from jihadist militants groups in the area. Some 2,400 French troops that were part of the forces deployed in Mali to combat groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, and around 900 special forces in the French-led Takuba task force, are expected to leave Mali in coming months.