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Dozens Killed In Nigerian Election Violence As Polling Continues

Islamist insurgents in Nigeria have reportedly killed about 40 people, including a lawmaker, as the polling for a new president continues in the West African country.

Voting was extended for a second day after technical problems kept some from casting their ballots on Saturday. Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is squaring off against former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari.

According to The Associated Press: "Boko Haram extremists killed 41 people, including a legislator, and scared hundreds of people from polling stations in the northeastern Nigeria. In electoral violence elsewhere, three people including a soldier were shot and killed in southern Rivers state and police said two car bombs exploded at polling stations in the southeast but no one was injured."

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports:

"Land and sea borders remain closed in Nigeria as voting continues in some areas for a second day, because of technical glitches with new biometric voting card readers.

"But officials are reporting record turnouts, even in areas they say were previously under threat or control of Boko Haram. Nigeria's insurgency chief, Mike Omeri, said the city of Maiduguri — the metropolis of the northeast and the birthplace of Boko Haram – was one such example."

The AP adds:

"Many Christian Nigerians attended Palm Sunday church services in which they prayed for a peaceful outcome for the elections.

"More than 40 people were killed in election-related violence Saturday, though millions were able to vote in a presidential election that analysts say is too close to call."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.

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