By SAM MEDNICK
NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — An analyst says Niger’s new military junta has asked for help from the Russian mercenary group Wagner as the deadline nears for it to release the country’s ousted president or face possible military intervention by the West African regional bloc. A journalist and researcher says the request came during a visit by one of the coup leaders to neighboring Mali, where Wagner is active. He says Wagner is considering the request. Niger’s junta faces a Sunday deadline set by the regional bloc known as ECOWAS to release and reinstate the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who has described himself as a hostage.