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NORTHERN NIGERIA CONFLICT

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    A street scene in Kano, Nigeria, March 31, 2013.
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    A heavy security presence is a reminder of attacks by Boko Haram on Christian worshippers in Kano.
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    At the Kano State Hisbah Commission offices, women and men undergo screening for pregnancy as well as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Most of the women, who are seeking new husbands, are divorced, widowed or from very poor, rural families.
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    Garbage heaps burn along railroad tracks in Kaduna.
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    Christian survivors of a Boko Haram bomb attack on a bus depot in March 2013 receive free medical care at the National Orthopedic Hospital in Kano.
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    Nigerian Army Forces man a checkpoint to protect Sunday Christian prayer services in Sokoto, where less than 5 percent of the population is Christian.
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    In the City No. 3 Sharia Court, Cadi—or Senior Sharia Court Judge—Ibrahim Sarki Yola dispenses justice over family, business and property disputes.
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    A woman is seen at the City No. 3 Sharia Court. In 2000, several predominantly Muslim states in northern Nigeria formally adopted Islamic law as part of their legal system, despite concerns from the largely Christian population in the south.
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    Almajiris, or street kids, and locals from an impoverished area of Sokoto, Nigeria, attend classes at the Madrassa Tarbiyyatul Aulad Koranic School.
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    Almajiris who have been taken-in by local Islamic schools where they are made to read the Koran, continue to beg for money and food at the horse racing course of Sokoto.
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    A young Muslim man stands outside a makeshift mosque in the Muslim neighborhood of Ali Kazaure in Jos, Nigeria.
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    Janet Elisha Daniang, 15, bears scars from the St. Rita Catholic church bombing, which occurred on October 28, 2012 in Kaduna. Four people were killed and 192 were injured.
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    Worshippers dance, sing and pray at the Apostolic Church of Nigeria, located in Sokoto, along the border with Niger.
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    Worshippers dance, sing and pray at the Apostolic Church of Nigeria.
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    Worshippers attend Sunday service at the Calvary Life Assembly International church in the Sabon Gari district of Kano, Nigeria.
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    The marriage of Abubakar Suleman, 31, and Fatima Musa Hassan, 18, brings their families together in the old city of Kano to prepare the bride and the couple's new home on the outskirts of Kano.
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    Women wait to attend the wedding of a Christian couple, Tony Bala Shammah, 29, and Timeni Samuel, 24, at the Evangelical Church Winning All in Kano's Sabon Gari district.
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    Bride Timeni Samuel is seen on her wedding day, April 6, 2013.
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    A street scene in the muslim neighborhood of Ali Kazaure in Jos, Nigeria.
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    A member of a Muslim Fulani family, whose home was attacked the week prior by Christian Fulanis, stands before his compound after it has been burned and ransacked in Attakar, Nigeria. By the end of the rampage, more than 25 people had been killed in this small rural hamlet.
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    Left, a family photograph lies in the dirt following an attack on a rural Muslim village in Attakar, Nigeria. Right, Christian refugees take shelter in the primary school of Fadan Attakar days after an attack on their village. Both images reflect the ethno-religious violence that engulfs northern Nigeria.
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    Five days after an attack on the Christian villlages of Zilan and Mafan, in which more than 30 were killed, refugees find shelter in the primary school of Fadan Attakar village.
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    The palace of the Emir of Kano, where visiting dignitaries from Saudi Arabia and other parts of Northern Nigeria are welcomed along with local subjects, is seen as the Emir celebrates his 50th year on the throne at age 84.
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    Sufi Muslims of the Qadiriyya sect, to which the Emir of Kano also belongs, pray in their mosque in Kano's Old City and perform "amfasi," their traditional dance and chant.
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    Sufi Muslims of the Qadiriyya sect in Kano, Nigeria.
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    Artisanal gold mining, which releases toxic lead dust and requires the use of mercury, has led to major health problems in communities like Bagega, Nigeria.
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    Artisanal gold mining in Bagega, April 2013.
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    Near the small village of Dareta, Nigerian boys and men dig for gold in rock that contains high traces of lead.
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    Gold mining has led to major health problems in communities like Wawa Ichi, which translates to "Fruitless Tree Village."
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    Hundreds of Nigerians, ages 5 to 50, work in an artisanal mine extracting tin and columbite on the outskirts of Jos.
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    A scene along the Kaduna River in Kaduna, Nigeria.
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    A man burns brush near Dareta.
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    The Adhama Textiles and Garment Industry factory lays dormant in Kano. Ten years earlier, this room would have been filled with over 300 busy workers.
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    The African Textiles Manufacturers factory in Kano employed more than 3,000 people a decade ago, but as of 2013 employs only one third of that amount. The company is Lebanese-owned and struggles to compete with imitations that are being imported into Nigeria from China.
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    Workers are seen in the Multitan Limited tanning factory in Kano.
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    A medicine man performs before a crowd in the market in Saninkaka, Nigeria.
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    Men practice dembe, a traditional Nigerian form of boxing where only one hand is protected with rope, during northern Nigeria's dry season.
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    Dembe is practiced in Sokoto.
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    Scenes in the small town of Kotorkoshi, Nigeria.
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    A man walks through the Emir of Kano's palace, March 2013.
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    Easter Sunday services attract thousands of Christian worshippers to northern Nigeria's many local churches, despite the heavy security presence and the specter of attacks by Boko Haram.
Northern Nigeria Conflict

On assignment for National Geographic, Ed Kashi traveled to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and one of the world’s most important oil producers, where 50 percent of the population lives in poverty. In the north, where the situation is particularly dire, more than 70 percent of the population is in poverty. The country is evenly split between a primarily Muslim north and a Christian south; though most people live in harmony, in 2009 a murky Islamic insurgent group, Boko Haram—which translates as “Western Religion is Sacrilegious”—has become increasingly radical and violent, targeting Nigerian security forces and churches. As tensions flair, a looming potential for civil war threatens to engulf the country and tear Nigeria apart—which would create a disastrous outcome for all of Africa.

To complete this ongoing story, photographer Ed Kashi intends to make additional trips to the northeast region of Nigeria to explore how religious strife, economic disparity, ethnic tensions, and a fight for resources are converging into a growing crisis in the country. Click here to view the photo gallery that was featured in the November 2013 issue of National Geographic.

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