The head of Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has threatened to disrupt the country’s elections, which were already postponed until next month because of violence.
In a new video posted online late Tuesday, Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau said that even if clashes cost his fighters their lives, Allah will not allow the elections to proceed.
The militant group has repeatedly warned Nigerians not to vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections, now set for March 28. The polls were originally scheduled for February 14 but election officials decided to push back the vote.
Bombs went off in three different locations across Nigeria Tuesday, causing dozens of casualties. The violence included an attack at a political rally for the opposition APC party in Okrika, a town in southern Rivers state.
APC is mounting a strong challenge to the ruling PDP party and President Goodluck Jonathan, who has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram.
The Nigerian military said Wednesday that its forces killed more than 300 Boko Haram militants during operations this week to recapture 11 towns. Spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said the military also detained some militants and destroyed arms caches.
There was no way to independently confirm the military’s claims.
Boko Haram has killed thousands of Nigerians in the past five years and seized numerous towns in the northeast for what it calls an Islamic caliphate.
Forces from Cameroon, Niger and Chad are working to help Nigeria fight the group, which has responded with attacks inside each of those countries.