The United States and Britain on Sunday warned of a possible terrorist attack in Nigeria’s federal capital Abuja, targeting government buildings, places of worship and schools, among other things.
Nigeria is fighting an Islamist insurgency mainly in the northeast, but in July Islamic State claimed responsibility for a raid on an Abuja prison that freed some 440 inmates and stoked fears that insurgents were escaping their enclaves.
The US Embassy in Nigeria said that “there is an increased risk of terrorist attacks in Nigeria, particularly Abuja”, adding that risk locations include shopping malls, law enforcement agencies and international organizations.
“The US Embassy will continue to offer reduced services until further notice,” the embassy said in a notice to Nigerian citizens.
The UK government has warned its citizens in Nigeria to remain vigilant amid a “growing threat of terrorist attacks in Abuja”.
“Attacks can be indiscriminate, affecting Western interests and places visited by tourists,” he said.
The uncertainty that has spread across Nigeria is a major concern for voters heading to the polls next February to elect a new president to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not immediately be reached for comment.