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UN Secretary-General Condemns Blasts in Nigeria That Killed 32

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Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Christmas Eve bombings in the central Nigerian city of Jos that killed at least 32 people and injured more than 50.

“The secretary-general is appalled by the violence that caused the loss of so many innocent lives,” the UN said in a statement on its website yesterday. Ban “supports efforts by the Nigerian authorities to bring those responsible to justice.”

Blasts occurred in three separate locations in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, on Dec. 24, while attacks on two churches the next day left six people dead in Maiduguri, capital of the northeastern state of Borno, according to police. The government yesterday imposed a 10-hour curfew in Jos, where sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims this year has killed as many as 500 people.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer and the continent’s most populous nation, has suffered periodic outbursts of religious and communal violence that have claimed more than 13,000 lives since 1999, according to the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.

The attacks in Maiduguri were carried out by Boko Haram, an Islamic sect operating in the region, state police commissioner Mohammed Abubakar said on Dec. 25.

Jean Ping, chairman of the African Union Commission, also condemned the “cowardly terrorist attacks.” The AU will support member states in their efforts to “combat terrorism,” the commission said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nasreen Seria in Johannesburg at nseria@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.

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