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29 Nigerian Shias Killed by Suicide Bomber
International

29 Nigerian Shias Killed by Suicide Bomber

A suicide bomber killed at least 29 people in a procession of Shia Muslims marking the ritual of Ashoura in northeast Nigeria’s Yobe state on Monday, witnesses said.
In a separate incident overnight in central Kogi state, gunmen using explosives blew their way into a prison in the city of Lokoja, killing one person and freeing 144 inmates, Adams Omale, prisons coordinator for the state, told Reuters.
In the suicide bombing in Potiskum in Yobe state, a territory at the heart of an insurgency by Boko Haram mliitants, the attacker joined the line of Shias before setting off his device as they marched through a market in the town, resident Yusuf Abdullahi said.
Nigeria’s government announced last month that a ceasefire had been agreed with Boko Haram and that talks were under way in neighboring Chad for the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted in April by the militants.
But although mediator Chad has said the negotiations are still on, a spate of recent attacks across Nigeria’s northeast by suspected Boko Haram fighters has raised serious doubts about whether a lasting peace pact can be achieved.
Prospects for this took another hit at the end of last week when a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video recording the kidnapped girls were “married off” to his fighters, contradicting Nigerian government statements that they would soon be freed.
Nigeria’s military says it killed Shekau a year ago, and authorities said in September they had killed an impostor posing as him in videos.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking a second term in elections in February, has faced rising criticism at home and abroad for failing to halt the Boko Haram insurgency or obtain the release of the schoolgirls.
In a statement on Monday, Nigeria’s opposition All Progressives Congress accused Jonathan’s government of misleading the public over the reported peace deal.
“The president has failed in his most sacred duty, protecting the safety and wellbeing of Nigeria’s citizens,” the APC party said.

 

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