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Nigeria's Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State

In 2009 Boko Haram began a campaign to impose Islamic rule in northern Nigeria. Credit: Reuters/Bate Felix Tabi Tab

Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, which rules a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, according to an audio statement.

In a message believed to be from leader Abubakar Shekau the group said: "We announce our allegiance to the Caliph ... and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity".

Boko Haram has been waging a six-year military campaign to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

Today four bomb blasts killed at least 50 people in the north eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri in the worst attacks there since Boko Haram militants tried to seize the town in two major assaults earlier this year.

Northern Nigerian town hit by three blasts

A third blast hit the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, according to a Reuters witness.

A military source said the first two explosions were from bombs, one in a market and another close to a market. The three blasts came in a period of just over half an hour. There was no immediate word on casualties.

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Kidnapped US missionary released in central Nigeria

An US missionary who was kidnapped in central Nigeria in February has been safely released to authorities and church leaders, her Free Methodist Church said in a statement.

Reverend Phyllis Sortor, a Free Methodist missionary to Nigeria, was safely released in Nigeria on Friday evening local time into the care of authorities and church leaders, the church said. She was abducted on February 23.

'Simultaneous bombs' explode in Nigerian city

Simultaneous bombs have exploded at a bus station and opposite a university in the central Nigerian city of Jos, a witness has told Reuters news agency.

"There was a loud explosion opposition the university along the Bauchi road, and another one at the Bauchi road motor park," Garba Musa, a newspaper vendor along the road, told Reuters by telephone.

At least 26 killed and dozens hurt in suicide bombings

At least 26 people have been killed and dozens injured in suicide bomb attacks at two different bus stations in Nigeria.

In the first blast in the town of Potiskum, a man ran onto a bus and detonated the explosive, killing himself and 16 others and destroying the bus.

Two bombers then targeted a major bus station in the Nigeria's main northern city, Kano, in a coordinated attack which left at least 10 dead.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but officials believe they may be a sign of revenge from Islamist militant group Boko Haram following a strong of successful assaults from neighbouring countries.

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Nigerian forces 'kill more than 300 Boko Haram fighters'

Nigerian forces backed by air strikes have killed more than 300 Boko Haram fighters during an operation to recapture 11 towns and villages since the start of the week, the military said today.

"Several weapons and equipment were also captured and some destroyed," defence spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement.

The news follows a number of recent attacks by Boko Haram militants on civilians in Nigeria's border regions.

Ten killed and dozens injured in suicide bomb blast

Ten people have been killed and at least 30 more wounded after a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a crowded bus station in Nigeria.

Officials say nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack Credit: Reuters

A police spokesman for the city of Damaturu, in Yobe, said nobody had yet claimed responsibility for the attack - but it bears the hallmarks of Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has increasingly been using female suicide bombers in recent months.

Witnesses said the woman detonated the bomb inside a Volkswagen, and video from the scene shows thick black smoke billowing from the car in the moments after the blast.

Thick black smoke can be seen billowing from the car Credit: Reuters

It comes after a controversial election was postponed until March 28 following security threats from Boko Haram towards voters.

Niger's army repel Boko Haram attack on border

Gambaru in the Nigeria/Chad border Credit: Google Maps

Niger's army fought back against militants from Islamist group Boko Haram who attacked in Gambaru on the Nigerian/Chad border, military sources said.

Eight Chadian soldiers were wounded in the attack while three Boko Haram vehicles were destroyed, the source told Reuters.

"We knew they were going to attack us. We were waiting. The battle didn't last long. They fled," the source said.

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