Oct 18, 2017 Last Updated 3:20 PM, Oct 16, 2017

Nigeria have named an unchanged 23-man squad for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia next month.

The Super Eagles face 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winners Zambia at home in the south-eastern city of Uyo on 7 October.

If Nigeria can win the tie they will seal a sixth World Cup appearance.

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi is named again after he was forced to withdraw from September's two games against Cameroon due to injury.

Group B after four matches

Nigeria 10 pts

Zambia 7 pts

Cameroon 3 pts

Algeria 1 pts

Leicester trio of Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are also included, while former England youth international Ola Aina could make his long awaited debut.

Experienced China-based duo of captain John Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo, as well as Chelsea wing-back Victor Moses complete a strong squad.

"I'm happy to be called up again because it's always a great honour to play for my country," Ighalo told BBC Sport.

"We know Zambia is a strong team and they will come with full determination in Uyo, we cannot not engage in irrelevant pre-match talking but deliver on the pitch.

"I've never played at the World Cup and like my other colleagues we all want to be in Russia, this is like a final for us."

The Super Eagles are top of Group B with ten points, while Chipolopolo lie second with seven points following a 1-1 draw with Cameroon and home and away triumphs over Algeria.

Three-time African champions Nigeria first appeared at the World Cup in 1994, where they reached the second round. They also played at the 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 tournaments.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Ayodele Ajiboye (Plateau United FC)

Defenders: William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Elderson Echiejile (Sivasspor FC, Turkey); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); Ola Aina (Hull City, England)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Chang Chun-Yatai, China); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Anthony Nwakaeme (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel)

Standby: Dele Alampasu (Cesarense FC, Portugal); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Afeez Aremu (Akwa United); Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United)

Three policemen have been killed by gunmen who attacked a zoo in Nigeria's mid-western Edo State, the police have told the BBC.

The gunmen also abducted the head of the zoo, after they stormed the 750-acre Ogba Zoo and Nature Park.

The information minister has condemned the attack, describing it as a big blow to efforts to promote tourism.

According to a police spokesman, Sunday's incident occurred in the presence of more than 200 visitors.

There is no information on who the gunmen and abductors are, or whether they have made any demands.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed described the zoo as one of Nigeria's top tourist destinations.

He called on the abductors of zoo director Andy Ehanire to quickly release him unharmed.

Mr Mohammed said that security at all tourist sites across the country would be stepped up.

There has been a significant increase in the number of children used as human bombs by Boko Haram militants in north-east Nigeria, the United Nations says.

Unicef reports there have been 83 cases so far this year - four times as many as in the whole of last year.

55 were girls under the age of 15 and in one case the bomb was strapped to a baby being carried by a young girl.

Unicef says this tactic is an atrocity causing fear and suspicion of children released by the militants.

According to the UN children's agency, 127 children have been used as bombers in north-east Nigeria since 2014.

The Islamist militants Boko Haram have regularly used children in its insurgency, abducting hundreds of schoolgirls, and forcibly recruiting boys as child soldiers.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has returned home after three months of medical leave in the UK.

Officials refused to disclose what he was being treated for.

It was the president's second spell of medical leave this year - leading many Nigerians to question whether he was well enough to run the country.

President Buhari, 74, walked unaided from the plane after landing in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

He was greeted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has acted as interim leader, and was accorded a military salute.

He made no statement and immediately travelled to the presidential villa.

President Buhari, who took office in May 2015, handed over power to Vice President Osinbajo to allay concerns of a void at the helm of Africa's biggest economy.

His absence sparked numerous protests, including demands that he should resign, as well as calls for more transparency about the president's condition.

There has been speculation about his health since June 2016, when he first went to London for treatment of what his aides said was a persistent ear infection.

His spokesman said he will address Nigerians on Monday morning.

Three female suicide bombers have carried out an attack that has killed at least 27 people in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say.

Dozens were injured when the women blew themselves up outside a refugee camp near Maiduguri in Borno state - a stronghold of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

There has been an upsurge in violence in the city in recent months.

Boko Haram has been fighting to set up an Islamic state since 2009.

A report published by US anti-terrorist researchers last week said it is the first insurgency in history to use more women suicide bombers than men.

Baba Kura, a member of a vigilante force set up to fight the jihadists, told AFP news agency on Tuesday that the first bomber blew herself up near the camp, triggering panic.

"People were trying to close their shops when two other female bombers triggered their explosives, causing most of the casualties," he said.

Last year, Nigeria's government said that Boko Haram had been defeated.

But correspondents say that the army is failing to stop the attacks, and people have continued to flee their homes in Borno State and poured into camps.

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