U.S. Embassy in Nigeria warns of attacks

Nov. 7, 2011 at 9:33 AM
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ABUJA, Nigeria, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria issued a warning of possible terrorist attacks at hotels, churches and other locations in the capital city of Abuja.

"Following the recent Boko Haram, aka Nigerian Taliban, attacks in Borno and Yobe State, the [embassy] has received information that Boko Haram may plan to attack several locations and hotels ... during the Sallah holiday," an embassy statement said.

Potential targets may include the Nicon Luxury, the Sheraton Hotel and the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, it said.

U.S. government personnel were instructed to avoid those locations, and previously scheduled events were canceled.

"American citizens should expect additional police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks in Abuja for the foreseeable future," the embassy said. "Please maintain a high state of vigilance and personal awareness, particularly in and around Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, near Nigerian government facilities, diplomatic missions, large gathering places, hotels, markets and malls, and places of worship."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council condemned terrorist attacks in Nigeria Friday that killed at least 65 people in the northeastern cities of Damaturu and Potiskum. Hours of gunbattles were fought with police after Islamic insurgents bombed churches, mosques and police stations, the U.N. said Saturday.

The Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, is the same group that claimed responsibility for an attack on the U.N. building in Abuja in late August that resulted in the deaths of 24 people.

"The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group," the Security Council said.

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