US tells embassy staff to leave Nigeria's capital


28 Oct. 2022 00: 16 Updated 28 Oct. 2022 00: 18

The United States is ordering non-essential embassy staff and their families to leave Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, due to an elevated risk of terrorist attacks.


28 Oct. 2022 00: 16 Updated 28 Oct. 2022 00: 18

The US State Department does not specify what kind of threat it is, but in the summary about Nigeria on the ministry’s website it is stated that “terrorists can attack with little or no warning”, and that shopping centres, markets, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and schools are typical targets.

The measure comes after the embassy on Sunday urged Americans to limit how much they move because of an “increased risk of terrorist attacks in Nigeria, particularly in Abuja”. Similar warnings have come from the UK, Canada and Australia.

Abuja, the capital planned and built from the ground up in the 1980s, has historically been considered safe, Male’s rebel groups associated with the extreme jihadist group IS have claimed responsibility for several attacks in the surrounding areas in the past six months. About six million people live in the city.

Nigerian security officials have urged residents to remain calm and take “necessary precautions”. Police have ordered anti-terror drill in the capital.

Residents of the Abuja area have been worried about their security after hundreds of inmates escaped from the Kuje prison on the outskirts of the city after it was attacked. The Islamist group Boko Haram was blamed for the attack.

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