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Niger coup: First evacuation flight lands at Paris airport

French, and other European citizens waiting outside the departures terminal of Niamey's Diori-Hamani international airport, as they wait to be evacuated.   -  
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The first evacuation flight from Niger arrived in Paris on Wednesday morning, following a coup last week that toppled the country's democratically elected president.

France, Italy and Spain all announced evacuations from Niger for their citizens and other European nationals. 

The French Foreign Ministry cited recent violence that targeted the French Embassy in Niger's capital Niamey. 

Amid growing anti-French sentiment, protesters attacked the embassy on Sunday, chanting  "Long live Russia", "Long live Putin" and "Down with France".

With the crisis deepening in the country, West African regional bloc ECOWAS announced travel and economic sanctions in against Niger on Sunday. 

Military leaders of member countries are also in consultations over whether to deploy armed forces to the country and have warned they could use force if the coup leaders refuse to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum within one week.

The new junta in Niamey, however, has been backed by the military governments in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.

The governments of Burkina Faso and Mali said in a joint statement that "any military intervention against Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali" and called sanctions against Niger "inhumane".

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