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US embassies in West Africa boost security

— The U.S. embassies in the West African nations of Niger and Mali are boosting security for diplomats and their families amid security fears sparked by attacks from Islamic militants.

The embassy in Bamako, Mali, said in a notice to Americans on Thursday that it had banned non-official travel by U.S. government personnel outside of the capital until the end of April and might restrict travel in the city on two upcoming holidays. This follows a deadly March 7 attack on a Bamako restaurant popular with foreigners. An al-Qaida affiliate claimed responsibility for that attack.

In neighboring Niger, where Boko Haram extremists have struck, the U.S. embassy in Niamey said Thursday that armed guards will now be required at schools attended by the children of American officials due to security concerns.

Source: AP Diplomatic
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