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Niger parliament votes to send troops to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram

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Niger’s parliament voted unanimously on Monday to send troops to Nigeria to join a regional fight against Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, lawmakers said.

“The resolution was passed unanimously. All 102 lawmakers present voted favourably,” said lawmaker Mohamed Ben Omar. Another member of parliament said the resolution authorises the country to send some 750 troops to Nigeria.

Niger, while housing thousands of refugees from the conflict, had been mainly spared the violence until last week, with a number of attacks carried out on its territory in recent days in the run up to the vote.

On Saturday, Nigeria and its neighbours — Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin — agreed to muster 8,700 troops, police and civilians for a wider, African Union-backed force against Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram insurgency has been centred in northeastern Nigeria, where the Islamists have seized swathes of territory. The conflict has killed more than 13,000 people since 2009.

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