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Bomb goes off at Nigerian hotel

A bomb detonated at a hotel in northern Nigeria and wounded eight people hours after voters cast ballots in a presidential election, a police spokesman said.

Kaduna state police spokesman Aminu Lawal said that two suspects were in custody and that the man suspected of setting up the blast in the vice president's hometown was among those hurt.

Police said they had no motive for the attack but it came hours after voters in Africa's most populous nation went to the polls. Kaduna was once a ruling party stronghold but preliminary results show voters sided with an opposition candidate.

Nigeria has a long history of violent and rigged polls, and legislative elections earlier this month left a hotel ablaze, a politician dead and a polling station and a vote-counting centre bombed.

International observers said the election went smoothly despite some reports of irregularities.

There were isolated reports of violence, with suspected members of a radical Muslim sect killing a police officer at a polling station in the volatile northeastern town of Maiduguri, where a bomb blast earlier had caused no injuries.

Voters were deciding whether to keep incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south who only took power because the Muslim president died following a lengthy illness and absence from office.

Mr Jonathan is the candidate for Nigeria's long-dominant ruling party and is the clear front-runner, but several other candidates threaten to siphon off enough votes that it could go to a second round for the first time since the oil-rich country became a democracy 12 years ago.

Voters in Kaduna appear to have backed his main competitor, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler from the north who previously led Nigeria shortly after a 1983 coup.

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