Bomb attacks possible in Nigeria capital: US

Last Updated: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 00:08

Lagos: A radical Muslim sect responsible for
attacks that left more than 100 people dead in northeast
Nigeria this week could bomb three luxury hotels frequented by
foreigners in oil-rich nation`s capital, the US Embassy
warned on Sunday.

The unusually specific warning from US diplomats
identified possible targets of the sect known locally as Boko
Haram as the Hilton, Nicon Luxury and Sheraton hotels. Those
hotels draw diplomats, politicians and Nigeria`s business
elite daily in the country`s central capital of Abuja.

The embassy said the attack may come as Nigeria
celebrates the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha and that its
diplomats and staff had been instructed to avoid those hotels.
Deb MacLean, an embassy spokeswoman, declined to offer further
details about the threat or the source of the information
Sunday.

The warning came as a Nigerian Red Cross official said
Sunday that more than 100 died in a series of attacks in
northeast Nigeria launched by the radical Muslim sect, as sect
gunmen shot and killed another police officer.

Ibrahim Bulama told a news agency he expected the
number of dead to rise as local clinics and hospitals tabulate
the casualty figures from the attacks Friday in Damaturu, the
capital of rural Yobe state.

While the hard-hit city remained calm and its Muslim
inhabitants celebrated a religious holiday Sunday, army and
police units manned roadblocks leading into the town and
streets remained largely quiet, Bulama said.

Meanwhile, the sect known locally as Boko Haram killed a
police inspector Sunday in the city of Maiduguri, the sect`s
spiritual home about 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of
Damaturu.

Sect gunmen stopped the officer`s car at gunpoint as he
neared a mosque to pray with his family, local police
commissioner Simeon Midenda said.

Gunmen ordered the family away, then shot the inspector
to death, Midenda said. The sect members later allowed his
family to drive the car away, he said.

The killing prompted a frank acknowledgment from the
police commander, whose men remain under siege from constant
assassinations by the radical sect.

"Our men who live in the midst of the Boko Haram are not
safe," Midenda said.

Statements issued late Saturday show the UN Security
Council called the attacks Friday in the cities of Damaturu
and Maiduguri "criminal and unjustifiable" and asked members
to help Nigerian authorities bring those responsible to
justice.

A statement on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
called for "an end to all violence in the area," while
offering sympathy for the victims.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 23:26

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