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Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

In a video distributed on Sunday, the head of Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists, Abubakar Shekau, claims responsibility for bombings in Abuja and Lagos and voices support for the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS, or ISIL).

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In the 16-minute video given to AFP on Sunday, Shekau says his group was responsible for a bombing in the capital Abuja and an attack at a fuel depot in Lagos on June 25.

The authorities tried to cover up the Lagos attack, describing it as an industrial accident, but an AFP investigation revealed it was a deliberate explosion.

"I ordered (the bomber) who went and detonated it," Abubakar Shekau said. "You said it was an accidental blaze. You can hide before the people, but not before Allah."

"We were the ones who detonated the bomb in filthy Abuja" that killed at least 22 people, the leader of Boko Haram added.

In the same recording, Shekau voices support for the extremist militant group ISIS, which has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria, in a new video seen Sunday.

"My brethren... may Allah protect you," Shekau said in the video, listing ISIS chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

He also mocked the "Bring back our girls" campaign calling for the release of more than 200 female students kidnapped in northern Nigeria on April 15. Boko Haram had previously claimed responsibility for the abductions.

Shekau released his video as Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani schoolgirl who became an education campaigner after she was shot by militants, is in Abuja to meet the missing girls' relatives.

"Thank you so much for telling the world that this is happening here," Yousafzai said. "We need to raise our voices for them so that they can be released and be free as well as other girls in Nigeria who also need full protection and security."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

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