UN urges beefed-up security against Sahel extremist groups

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is urging the international community to help Libya and neighboring countries in Africa's Sahel region beef up security to combat al-Qaida-linked groups.

A presidential statement approved by all 15 members Tuesday expresses "grave concern that Libya remains a safe haven for terrorist groups operating in the Sahel" and that arms and ammunition are widely available and proliferating.

The council urged regional and West African countries to coordinate efforts to prevent extremist groups from crossing borders and seeking safe havens in the Sahel.

It also urged the international community to fund the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the Nigerian-based extremist group Boko Haram. The crisis has displaced over 2.5 million people and created 200,000 refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

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