By CHINEDU ASADU
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria has designated the armed groups blamed for hundreds of abductions and killings in northern areas as terrorist organizations, in a major swing in response to a key security challenge facing Africa’s most populous country. The office of Nigeria’s attorney-general, Abubakar Malami, said in a statement Friday that the designation was made by a court following an application by the federal government. The court made its decision Thursday, the statement said. The decision will allow authorities to charge suspected members of the groups with terrorism-related offences, which some believe will lead to a more effective crackdown on their activities.