US warns citizens to stay alert in Abuja

The United States and Britain on Sunday warned of a possible terrorist attack in Nigeria’s federal capital Abuja, targeting government buildings, places of worship and schools, among others.

Nigeria is fighting an Islamic insurgency mainly in the Northeast, but in July Islamic State claimed responsibility for a raid on a prison in Abuja, releasing some 440 prisoners, raising fears that insurgents were moving out of their enclaves.

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said that “there is an increased risk of terrorist attacks in Nigeria, particularly in Abuja,” adding that shopping malls, law enforcement facilities and international organizations were among the risk sites.

“The U.S. Embassy will provide limited services until further notice,” the embassy said in a warning to citizens in Nigeria.

The British government warned that its citizens in Nigeria should remain alert due to an”increased threat of a terrorist attack in Abuja”.

“Attacks can be indiscriminate and affect western interests and places visited by tourists,” the embassy said.

Insecurity, which has spread across Nigeria, is a major issue for voters heading to the polls in February to elect a new president to succeed president Muhammadu Buhari.

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