Voting has begun in the West African nation of Niger, where President Mahamadou Issoufou is touting his record of defending the country from Islamic extremists as he vies for a second five-year term.

Materials arrived late to some polling stations in the capital Niamey on Sunday, slightly delaying the 8 a.m. start time for the presidential and parliamentary elections. The electoral commission said polling stations would stay open until 7 p.m.

In the region of Diffa, a frequent target of attacks by Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram, polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m.

Niger, one of the world's poorest countries, hosts French forces and American drones to combat the regional extremist threat.

Issoufou's critics have complained of a crackdown on dissent targeting politicians and journalists.