Possible politically motivated killings, violence hits northern Nigeria as election looms

BAUCHI, Nigeria (AP) — Violence targeting politicians and their aides appears to be increasing in northern Nigeria as next year's elections draws closer.

Unknown gunmen shot and killed a personal assistant to Bauchi state Gov. Malam Isa Yuguda, the son-in-law to the late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua. Meanwhile, a police guard for Yuguda was shot and seriously injured.

In recent days, assailants have attacked two prominent politicians and abducted the 10-year-old boy of another politician in Bauchi, a city in northern Nigeria. Many are worried that this is a spate of violence tied to the upcoming election, which will be held as early as January.

In oil-rich Nigeria, home to 150 million people, violence and vote-rigging accompanies national and local elections.