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Suicide bomber kills 25 people in Nigerian city of Zaria

The bombing is the latest in a wave of violence attributed to terrorist group Boko Haram that has killed more than 250 people over the past week.

By Fred Lambert
Suicide bomber kills 25 people in Nigerian city of Zaria
A suicide bombing in the Nigerian city of Zaria killed at least 25 people on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, the latest attack in a wave of violence that has killed at least 250 people in Nigeria over the last week. Officials attribute the attacks to Sunni Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Image from Google Maps

ZARIA, Nigeria, July 7 (UPI) -- A suicide bombing in the north-central Nigerian city of Zaria Tuesday killed at least 25 people and wounded 32, according to officials.

The bomber detonated in crowded lines of Nigerians seeking work near a government building in the city's Sabon Gari district, the BBC reports.

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While Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has not claimed the bombing, the group has been attributed to a recent wave of attacks in Nigeria's north that over the last week left about 250 people dead.

Two bomb attacks Monday against a restaurant and mosque in the city of Jos killed at least 44 people. On Sunday a church bombing in Potiskum killed five people.

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Attacks the prior week -- including gunmen raids on two villages near the town of Monguno and on the village of Kukawa, near Lake Chad, 17 miles northwest of Monguno, as well as female suicide bomb attacks in Borno state -- resulted in the deaths of 200 people.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday condemned the wave of violence as a "heinous atrocity."

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The governor of Kaduna state, where the city of Zaria lies, advised Nigerians to avoid crowded places, such as churches, mosques and restaurants, for the next few weeks.

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The Zarai attack comes one day after police officials announced new measures to stifle the deadliness of attacks, including increased security at religious institutions and a ban on street trading in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

The BBC's Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi, reporting from Abuja, notes analysts blame the uptick in attacks on President Buhari's decision to abolish military checkpoints on grounds that internal security is a police responsibility.

Buhari won election in March pledging to combat corruption and Boko Haram, which has since 2009 waged a campaign of terror and warred with the Nigerian government -- as well as military forces in neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon -- in order to establish an Islamic state.

The United States last month announced it would provide $5 million to help fund an African Union coalition -- comprising up to 7,500 troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin -- in its fight against Boko Haram.

Amnesty International estimates at least 17,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in northeastern Nigeria since the Sunni extremist group launched its insurgency six years ago.

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