Nigeria has declared a state of emergency in northern areas plagued by a deadly Islamist insurgency.
It comes a week after militants from the Boko Haram sect set off a string of explosions which killed at least 37 people and wounded dozens more.
The blasts raised fears that, Boko Haram, a movement styled on the Taliban and whose name means “Western education is forbidden”, is trying to ignite sectarian strife in Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer.
After visiting some of the affected zones, President Goodluck Jonathan announced a series of special measures.
As well as setting up a special counter-terrorism force, President Jonathan’s decree means parts of Nigeria’s border with Niger, Chad and Cameroon will be shut until further notice.
The local government areas listed included parts of Niger State, Borno and Yobe, all of which have become infiltrated with Boko Haram militants.