Kerry stops in Nigeria to warn against postelection violence

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LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is encouraging the main candidates in Nigeria's upcoming presidential election to accept the results and tamp down potential post-election violence as the country reels from an Islamic insurgency.

Kerry met today with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Lagos (LAY'-gohs) and later sat down in another location with the former military dictator who lost the 2011 election, Muhammadu Buhari.

No chief American diplomat has visited Nigeria since 2012.

The Feb. 14 election comes amid a surge of killings and kidnappings by Boko Haram (BOH'-koh hah-RAHM'). The group linked to al-Qaida has taken over large portions of northeastern Nigeria and wants to make the country an Islamic state.

The insurgency is blamed for an estimated 10,000 deaths last year.

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