By Emma Farge DAKAR (Reuters) - Groups of Islamic State fighters are quitting their bases in Libya fearing Western air strikes and heading south, posing a new threat to countries in Africa's Sahel region including Niger and Chad, officials and intelligence sources said. The ultra-hardline movement that has seized large areas of Syria and neighbouring Iraq has also amassed thousands of fighters along a coastal strip in Libya, where it has taken the city of Sirte and attacked oil infrastructure. "ISIS (Islamic State) are moving towards southern Libya to avoid the likely air strikes from the European coalition," said Colonel Mahamane Laminou Sani, director of documentation and military intelligence for Niger's armed forces.
George Clooney opened the Berlin film festival Thursday with Europe's refugee influx in the spotlight, saying he would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel about lending star power to help with the crisis. The 11-day Berlinale, one of the top three cinema showcases in Europe along with Cannes and Venice, kicked off with a screening of "Hail, Caesar!", Joel and Ethan Coen's send-up of Tinseltown's 1950s golden age. Clooney came to the German capital with his wife Amal, a Lebanese-born human rights lawyer, and co-stars Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton and Josh Brolin.