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Niger: US has drones and hundreds of troops in African nation

In the region, the US has enemies all around. Niger shares a border with Mali, where an al Qaeda affiliate and other Islamist groups thrive in the vast desert.

The US has previously said it has troops there. But it did not go into much detail.

In 2013, the White House announced that then-President Barack Obama had deployed 100 military personnel to Niger.

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“This deployment will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region,” Obama said in a letter to the House Speaker.

Small groups of US special operations forces advise local troops as they battle Boko Haram and al Qaeda.

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