The United States embassy in Nigeria has advised US citizens in the country to “be mindful of their personal security”, warning on Wednesday of threats to American targets through the Western country’s independence holiday week.
The warning published on the embassy’s website, came shortly after a low-level bomb explosion at a shopping plaza, popular with both foreigners and locals, in Abuja. The US embassy, located in the nation’s capital, urged its citizens to “keep personal safety in the forefront of their planning” as they celebrate the US holiday, and warned that they be especially vigilante around “U.S. installations during the July 4 holiday week”.
“The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is working with the Government of Nigeria to implement additional security measures during this period,” the embassy assured in its statement.
Visitors to the Embassy were encouraged to report “any suspicious activities, or seemingly ‘out of place’ objects, including unattended packages” to embassy and local authorities. .
The U.S. Embassy maintains that its government personnel and citizens living in Abuja stay away from places of worship and commercial establishments in proximity to places of worship, as those are fond targets of the radical Boko Haram sect. They are also “required to return to their residences by 12:00 midnight”.
Boko Haram has waged an increasingly violent insurgency in Nigeria’s north, often targeting security agencies and, more recently, Christian houses of worship. The sect has often kept its target local but claimed responsibility for the bombing of the United Nation’s Headquarters in Abuja last year. At least 23 people were killed and 80 injured in the sect’s first hit on an international target.