Nigeria: Deadly blast targets rally near Abuja

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A bomb has exploded during a political meeting near the Nigerian capital Abuja, killing at least three people, police say.

The blast happened during a rally for the governing People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Suleja, about 40km (24 miles) from Abuja, officials say.

National elections are due to be held in Nigeria next month.

Central Nigeria has seen a recent upsurge in violence between rival ethnic, religious and political groups.

The device - thrown from a vehicle - missed the centre of the rally but landed close to a market, national police spokesman Olusola Amore said.

"Three people were killed on the spot and 21 wounded," Mr Amore added.

He said no group had so far claimed responsibility for the attack and no arrests had been made.

Niger state police spokesman Richard Oguche said PDP candidate Babangida Aliyu was not hurt.

Mr Aliyu became governor of Niger state in 2007.

'Obstruction'

Yushua Shuaib, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema), said the attack happened after the main part of the rally had ended.

Earlier, opposition parties accused the PDP of obstructing their campaign rallies in the run-up to the election.

Presidential candidates from three opposition parties - the ACN, CPC and ANPP - said they were having trouble obtaining rally permits in the states of Ebonyi, Benue and Niger.

The PDP - led by President Goodluck Jonathan - has won every presidential election since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999 and is favourite to win April's poll.

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