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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nigeria Attacks: State Of Emergency In North

At least 50 people have been killed in violent clashes in eastern Nigeria's Ebonyi state, a government offical has said.

The news comes as the president of Nigeria declared a state of emergency in areas of the northeast plagued by a violent Islamist insurgency.

Goodluck Jonathan also announced the closure of part of the country's borders to control "cross-border terrorist activities".

At least 42 people were killed in two deadly church bombings in Madala on the outskirts of the capital Abuja on Christmas Day.

The bombings were apparently the work of a sect known as Boko Haram which is believed to be responsible for at least 491 killings this year alone.

In a nationwide broadcast he said: "While the search for lasting solutions is ongoing, it has become imperative to take some decisive measures necessary to restore normalcy in the country especially within the affected communities.

"Consequently, I have... declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation," he said, listing parts of the states of Plateau, Yobe, Borno and Niger.

Mr Jonathan said the measures were necessary "as terrorists have taken advantage of the present situation to strike at targets in Nigeria and retreat beyond the reach of our law enforcement personnel".

He also directed top security officials to set up a special counterterrorism unit. Read More