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Hit Puts Spotlight on Nigeria’s Elections

A manhunt is underway for the killers of a senatorial candidate for Nigeria’s opposition Labor Party, who was shot and burned in his campaign vehicle late Wednesday in the country’s southeastern Enugu State, local police said Thursday. The politician, Oyibo Chukwu, was murdered along with an unnamed personal aide, police suspect they were operatives of banned separatist group IPOB and its militant wing ESN. Chukwu’s murder was one of multiple attacks targeted at members of other political parties late Wednesday, a police statement said, adding that investigations were ongoing. The armed attackers stormed their target points in a tricycle and Hilux vehicle, the statement added. The attacks are happening less than three days before Nigeria’s presidential and parliamentary elections. The Nigeria branch of Amnesty International has also condemned the killing, describing it as “horrific.” Separatist gangs have terrorized the southeastern region where agitations for a breakaway Biafra state have turned violent many times. In other parts of the country, marauding gunmen known locally as bandits have carried out mass kidnappings mostly for ransom.