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Explosion kills 12 in Nigerian capital, Abuja

In this Thursday, May, 17. 2012 photo released by Yellow sun ltd, actress Thandie Newton, left, and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, right, act in a film  ''Half of a yellow sun'' an adaptation of novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book, in Calabar, Nigeria. The film stars an Oscar nominee, is set in Nigeria during a civil war, is based on an award-winning novel and the head of Nigeria’s censorship board reportedly loved it. Yet a week after the scheduled premiere of “Half of a Yellow Sun,” it still has not been shown in any theater in Nigeria. Nigerian government censors are effectively banning the film but they will not say why, director Biyi Bandele told The Associated Press on Thursday. He spoke in a telephone interview from his home in London, where the movie placed among the 10 most popular at cinemas over the Easter weekend. It debuts in the U.S. on May 16. It hasn’t opened in Nigeria yet because the censors may fear it could stoke tribal rivalries. The board hasn’t issued an explanation. The movie stars Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave” - the 2014 best picture Oscar) and Thandie Newton and is an adaptation of the book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is partly set during the 1967-1970 civil war when the southeast sought to break away from the federation, and it comes at a time when Nigeria is threatened by an Islamic uprising in the northeast, jeopardizing unity between the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south. A ban on the movie would perpetuate the conspiracy of silence that has kept Nigerians from discussing the civil war, a subject that was pointedly excluded from history lessons in schools, Bandele said. (AP Photo/ Yellow Sun Ltd)

In this Thursday, May, 17. 2012 photo released by Yellow sun ltd, actress Thandie Newton, left, and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, right, act in a film ''Half of a yellow sun'' an adaptation of novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book, in Calabar, Nigeria. The film stars an Oscar nominee, is set in Nigeria during a civil war, is based on an award-winning novel and the head of Nigeria’s censorship board reportedly loved it. Yet a week after the scheduled premiere of “Half of a Yellow Sun,” it still has not been shown in any theater in Nigeria. Nigerian government censors are effectively banning the film but they will not say why, director Biyi Bandele told The Associated Press on Thursday. He spoke in a telephone interview from his home in London, where the movie placed among the 10 most popular at cinemas over the Easter weekend. It debuts in the U.S. on May 16. It hasn’t opened in Nigeria yet because the censors may fear it could stoke tribal rivalries. The board hasn’t issued an explanation. The movie stars Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave” - the 2014 best picture Oscar) and Thandie Newton and is an adaptation of the book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is partly set during the 1967-1970 civil war when the southeast sought to break away from the federation, and it comes at a time when Nigeria is threatened by an Islamic uprising in the northeast, jeopardizing unity between the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south. A ban on the movie would perpetuate the conspiracy of silence that has kept Nigerians from discussing the civil war, a subject that was pointedly excluded from history lessons in schools, Bandele said. (AP Photo/ Yellow Sun Ltd)

ABUJA, Nigeria — A car bomb exploded on a busy road in Nigeria’s capital late Thursday, killing at least 12 people days before the city is to host a major international economic forum.

That blast was claimed by the Islamic extremist Boko Hararm terrorist network.

Thursday’s bomb comes days before Abuja is to host the World Economic Forum on Africa, with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as an honored guest. The government is deploying 6,000 police to protect the May 7-9 event, which attracts world leaders, policymakers, philanthropists and business leaders to discuss Africa’s economic growth prospects.

Two unexploded IEDs were found at the scene, according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. Islamic militants in Nigeria often time secondary explosions to target rescuers and others drawn to a bombing.

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