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Peaceful elections in Nigeria 'absolutely critical': Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that peaceful and timely elections were vital in Nigeria, where the country is battling a deadly insurgency by Boko Haram.

Lagos: US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that peaceful and timely elections were vital in Nigeria, where the country is battling a deadly insurgency by Boko Haram.

"It is absolutely critical that this election can be conducted peacefully. The international community is paying very close attention to this election," he said on a visit to Lagos.

Boko Haram violence in Nigeria`s far northeast has raised concerns about the ability to hold the February 14 vote on time but Kerry said it was "imperative that elections happen on time, as scheduled".