Soldiers declare Niger general as head of state after he led a coup and detained the president

In this image taken from video provided by ORTN, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani makes a statement Friday, July 28, 2023, in Niamey, Niger. Niger state television identified him as the leader of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, the group of soldiers who said they staged the coup against President Mohamed Bazoum. (ORTN via AP)

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Mutinous soldiers who staged a coup in Niger declared their leader the new head of state on Friday, hours after the general asked for national and international support despite rising concerns that the political crisis could hinder the nation’s fight against jihadists and boost Russia’s influence in West Africa.