BAMAKO Jan 17 The Malian army sped
reinforcements on Thursday to a town close to the capital Bamako
after Islamist fighters were spotted in the nearby border region
with Mauritania, residents and a military source said.
"Banamba is in a state of alert. Reinforcements have been
sent. Nigerian troops expected to arrive in Bamako today could
be deployed there to secure the zone," a senior Malian military
source told Reuters.
An inhabitant of Banamba, 140 km (86 miles) from the
capital, reported the arrival of soldiers after fighters
belonging to an Islamist coalition battling French forces
further north were seen in Boron, an area along the porous