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A senior Nigerian army officer has been shot dead by gunmen while travelling from the central city of Lokoja to the capital Abuja.

Maj-Gen Hassan Ahmed was attacked in the late hours of Thursday. His wife, who was with him, was reportedly abducted by the attackers.

This is the latest high-profile killing as insecurity continues to deteriorate across the country.

The army has described the killing as a “sad incident”.

Gen Ahmed was recently appointed a senior director at Nigeria’s army headquarters. It is not yet clear who was behind the attack or their motive.

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Nigeria is grappling with worsening insecurity with various armed groups unleashing violence including killings and kidnappings for ransom. Both civilians and the security forces have fallen victims.

The authorities have been severely criticised for their failure to tackle the deepening crisis.