US builds new firewall to stop spread of Islamist militants

OUALLAM, Niger—The front lines in the war between the West and Islamist militants have shifted into Africa, from Somalia at the eastern tip of the continent to the West African Sahel, a semi-desert strip south of the Sahara.

In the Sahel, the United States and its allies are betting that Niger, the worst-off country in the world according to a UN measure, offers the best hope of stopping the seemingly inexorable spread of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.


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