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US Condemns Nigeria Violence

Sabon Gari, Borno state, Nigeria

The United States has strongly condemned Tuesday's bomb attack on a crowded market in Nigeria's Borno state that killed at least 47 people.

In a statement, State Department spokesperson John Kirby noted that while no group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, it happened in an area where violence attributed to the Boko Haram militant group has killed hundreds of people in recent weeks.

"We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and the friends of the victims. We will continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to bring those responsible for the attack, as well as previous attacks, to justice," the statement said. "As we have said before, the people of northern Nigeria deserve to live free from violence and from terror."

Tuesday's attack on the Sabon Gari market hit early Tuesday afternoon while the area was crowded with shoppers.

Law enforcement authorities said Boko Haram is the prime suspect.

The group has mounted a campaign of bombings, kidnappings and deadly raids in recent years. It says it wants stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.

The U.S. statement says it will "continue to work closely with the Nigerian government and our international partners to combat Boko Haram and assist the many victims of its senseless brutality."