Niger leader seeks 2nd term amid fear of extremist violence

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Niger's president will stand for re-election Sunday in a climate made tense by Islamic extremist threats and complaints about a crackdown on dissent.

For more than a year, Niger's southeast has been hit by cross-border raids by Nigeria's extremists Boko Haram and a state of emergency is in effect there.

Supporters of President Mahamadou Issoufou express confidence he will get a second five-year term on the strength of his security record, which includes hosting French forces and American drones in one of the world's poorest countries.

Government critics accuse Issoufou of silencing opponents to stay in office, pointing to a recent string of arrests of opposition politicians, journalists and a singer who released a song critical of the president.