US, UK warns of elevated risk of terror attacks in Abuja

The United States (US)  and the UK on Sunday warned their citizens about the possibility of terror attacks in Nigeria.

In a security alert issued on its website, the US embassy warned of “elevated risk of terror attacks” in parts of the country, noting that the federal capital territory (FCT) stands a high risk of attack.

According to the embassy, terrorists may target government buildings, places of worship, schools, and markets.

Recreational centres such as hotels, bars, clubs, and restaurants are also said to be potential places of target.

Athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and property of international organisations were also listed as locations where there’s a risk of attack.

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By virtue of the security alert, the US said it will offer reduced services at its embassy in the FCT until further notice.

The US warned American citizens to avoid all non-essential travel or movements and to stay alert.

Americans were advised to avoid crowds, carry their means of identification on them at all times – and review their personal security plans and keep their cell phones charged in case of emergency.

The United Kingdom government also warned that its citizens in Nigeria should stay alert due to an “increased threat of terrorist attack in Abuja.”

“Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests, as well as places visited by tourists,” it said.

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On October 5, the US released a travel advisory advising its citizens to reconsider travel to Nigeria “due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime”.

Americans were warned against travelling to northern states like Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara.

Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers were the southern states listed as dangerous for travel.

Nigeria is fighting an Islamist insurgency mainly in the northeast, but in July the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a raid on a prison in Abuja, which freed around 440 inmates, raising fears that insurgents were venturing from their enclaves.

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