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Author Topic: U.S: Boko Haram uprising could spread  (Read 171 times)

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Offline smartoo

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U.S: Boko Haram uprising could spread
« on: January 13, 2014, 06:20:15 am »

An alarming United States (U.S.) travel
advisory warns that the Boko Haram
uprising could expand out of the North and
counsels against travel to 16 states, saying
Americans have suffered violent crimes from
kidnappings and rape to home invasions.
The advisory says nine foreign nationals
including Americans died last year in
kidnappings in southwest Nigeria, three of
them killed by their captors during military-
led rescue raids.
The advisory posted at the U.S. State
Department website and dated Jan. 8 tells
citizens to expect little help from law
enforcers known for harassing and shaking
down foreigners and Nigerians at
checkpoints.
It says U.S. missionaries in northern Nigeria
have received “night letters” — covertly
distributed specific written threats to their
safety.
Pointing to possible targets of extremists, it
says U.S. citizens should be particularly
vigilant around government security
facilities; churches, mosques, and other
places of worship; locations where large
crowds gather such as hotels, clubs, beer
parlours, restaurants, markets and shopping
malls; and all other areas frequented by
expatriates and foreign travelers.
The North has more Muslims than Christians,
which continues despite an 8-month-long
state of emergency that deployed thousands
of troops to three states covering one-sixth
of the country.
“Late 2013 saw an increase in Boko Haram
attacks and clashes with Nigerian
government security forces in northern
Nigeria,” the travel advisory says. “Boko
Haram is known to descend on whole
towns, robbing banks and businesses,
attacking police and military installations,
and setting fire to private homes.”
It warns “U.S. citizens should be aware that
extremists could expand their operations
beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of
the country.” Boko Haram already operates
in neighboring Chad, from which it
kidnapped a French priest who was
released earlier this month, and militants
from Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been
reported fighting alongside Boko Haram in
Nigeria, raising fears the rebellion could also
spread beyond Nigeria’s borders.
The United States advises against all but
essential travel to all 13 northern and
central-northern Nigerian states as well as
central Plateau state, for years the site of
deadly ethnic-religious clashes, and the oil-
rich southwestern states of Delta and
Bayelsa, on the Gulf of Guinea where piracy
is on the rise and militancy by activists
demanding a bigger share of oil riches from
a government embroiled in numerous
corruption scandals.
Kidnappings of foreigners and attacks
against Nigerian police forces in the Niger
Delta region and in Lagos State, home to the
commercial capital Lagos city, continue to be
a danger, it says. “Criminals or militants have
abducted foreign nationals, including U.S.
citizens, from offshore and land-based oil
facilities, residential compounds, and public
roadways.”
It adds that international companies and
local authorities assert that the number of
kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria is
underreported.
And home invasions “remain a serious
threat,” with armed robbers getting into
even heavily guarded compounds.
“Violent crimes occur throughout the
country,” the advisory says. “U.S. citizen
visitors and residents have experienced
armed muggings, assaults, burglaries,
armed robberies, carjackings, rapes,
kidnappings, and extortion.”
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