US Warns of Potential Boko Haram Attack in Nigeria

Posted April 18th, 2012 at 5:45 am (UTC-5)
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The United States has warned its citizens in Nigeria that the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram may be planning attacks in the capital, Abuja.

The U.S. embassy issued an emergency message saying attacks could target hotels used by Westerners, but that the timing was unknown.

The alert said the Nigerian government was aware of the threat and “actively implementing security measures.”

The embassy cautioned citizens to be especially aware of their security near Nigerian government facilities, diplomatic missions, large gathering places, markets and places of worship.

It issued a similar warning in November after a series of deadly attacks in northern Nigeria. But the Nigerian government criticized the move, saying the U.S. warning was not based on new information and was unnecessarily spreading panic.

Boko Haram has been blamed for a bombing earlier this month that killed dozens of people, but has not claimed responsibility.

The group is believed to have killed about 1,000 people since it began violent operations in 2009, including attacks on churches, the U.N. headquarters in Nigeria, police stations and other government buildings.