Niamey: Thousands of people marched in Niger`s capital on Tuesday to protest at Boko Haram Islamists, who have launched deadly raids in the country from their base in neighbouring Nigeria.
Prime Minister Brigi Rafini led the demonstrators who marched under a heavy police presence, with snipers posted on roofs of buildings along the protest route.
"Boko Haram is itself haram (forbidden)," read one sign, referring to the name of the jihadist group, which roughly translates as "Western education is forbidden."
"All united against Boko Haram," read another.
Boko Haram has waged an insurgency aiming to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria since 2009, a conflict that has claimed some 13,000 lives.
In recent months it has extended its raids into neighbouring countries, including Cameroon, Chad and Niger, as these nations formed a military alliance with Nigeria to combat the militants.
Police in Niger said on Monday they had arrested more than 160 people suspected of having links to the jihadists in the country`s Diffa region, a border area with Nigera that was attacked by the Islamists earlier this month.