NIAMEY - Niger, struggling to keep Islamist movements from spilling in from its north and south, wants to start joint military patrols along its border with Nigeria, the government said.

The West African state has so far managed to avoid a rebellion that split neighboring Mali in two, but is now worried about Islamist fighters from Nigeria's Boko Haram sect to the south.

"Our cooperation must be reinforced by starting joint patrols along the border, which have been planned but delayed," Niger Justice Minister Marou Amadou said on state television late on Saturday after a meeting with Nigerian officials.

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