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U.S. to establish new drone base in northwest Africa

The United States is planning to set up a new drone base in Africa's northwest to monitor militant activity in the region, officials today told The New York Times.

The plans have not yet received formal approval from the White House.

The news comes as the French lead a military offensive against militants in Mali, highlighting growing concern over extremist activity on the continent.

Senior defense officials confirmed the plans for the new drone base to Fox News, saying Niger is one possible location for the unit. Niger borders Mali on the east, and Fox claimed the US today signed its first-ever "status of forces agreement" with the small African nation.

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