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International flights return to Northern Nigeria

Thursday - 11/7/2013, 2:06pm  ET

Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- International commercial flights have resumed in northern Nigeria after a two-year suspension and despite calls for a continuation of emergency rule in parts of the region, an aviation official said Thursday.

Security will be provided for the newly-renovated international airport in Kano, Nigeria's second-largest city, added Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria spokesman Yakubu Dati.

"We are paying more attention to Kano because of the volatile situation there but there's been a lot of calm and a restoration of peace," he said. "And that signifies the return of business."

Kano has been the sight of many insurgent attacks, including coordinated bombings in 2012 that killed nearly 200 people.

A Sudan Airline flight that landed there Wednesday has already departed with new passengers, he said.

In the future, the airport authority hopes international flights will move produce as well as people. Roughly 70 percent of the vegetables grown in northern Nigeria are wasted partially because farmers have no way to export their products, Dati said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan this week asked lawmakers to extend emergency rule in three northeastern states, which do not include Kano, also a state.

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