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Niger official: Nigeria sect linked to al-Qaida

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) – Niger’s foreign minister says a radical Nigerian Islamist sect responsible for a series of deadly attacks received training and weapons from al-Qaida’s North African wing.

Mohamed Bazoum said Wednesday in Mauritania’s capital that members of the Boko Haram sect have had training and received explosives from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. He says “there is no doubt the two organizations are connected and that they have the same objective of destabilizing our region.”

Ministers from the West African region met Wednesday in Mauritania, and vowed to intensify their efforts against the groups.

Boko Haram wants to implement strict Shariah law across Nigeria. Attacks they claimed last week killed at least 185 people in Kano, Nigeria’s second-largest city.

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