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Nigeria

Polls open in Nigeria despite deadly attacks

Reuters/Joseph Penney

Polling stations opened in Nigeria on Saturday morning, a week after parliamentary elections were originally due to take place. Voting was set to go ahead in almost 90 per cent of constituencies, despite deadly attacks on two election offices on Friday.

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Security has been tightened nationwide after a bomb went off at an electoral commission office in Suleja, near Abuja, on Friday night.

The blast, described by President Goodluck Johnathan as “heinous”, killed at least 11 people and wounded 38 others. Voting in the city has been postponed.

Meanwhile in the north-east state of Borno, gunmen attacked a police station where officials were storing election materials, killing four people.

The latest attacks bring the number of people reported dead in pre-election violence to nearly 100.

On Saturday, soldiers were patrolling strategic areas and checkpoints had been set up.

According to reports, several polling stations opened as scheduled in the cities of Abuja, Lagos and Kano. Voters were due to register in the morning before voting opened at midday.

The vote was called off last Saturday due to organisational problems.

The parliamentary elections will be followed by presidential polls on 16 April and governorship elections on 26 April. 

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