Nick Squires, Laura Heaton
London Telegraph
January 1, 2012

Nigeria’s president has declared a state of emergency in areas of the country hit by a growing Islamist insurgency, amid escalating violence in Africa’s most populous nation.

The move came in response to dozens of attacks blamed on Boko Haram, an Islamist group that claims ties to al-Qaeda, most recently a wave of bombings over Christmas that killed nearly 50 people.

The state of emergency will apply to the states of Plateau, Niger, Yobe and parts of Borno, where Boko Haram traditionally has its base, President Goodluck Jonathan said.

Security forces will have more powers to seal off international border crossings and conduct searches and arrests under the new decree.

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