The US Embassy in Nigeria yesterday warned its citizens about threats to American targets through the Independence holiday week.
"The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is issuing this emergency message to inform U.S. citizens of potential threats against U.S. installations during the July 4 holiday week," said a statement posted on the embassy's website.
Abuja was hit by fresh violence late Tuesday when a blast went off outside a shopping centre popular with both foreigners and locals. US citizens in Abuja remain barred from visiting places of worship as well as nearby commercial establishments and must return to their homes by midnight, according to the embassy statement.
The Boko Haram Islamist group, responsible for scores of attacks in recent months, has intensified attacks on Sundays and holidays. The embassy "is working with the government of Nigeria to implement additional security measures," through the July 4 holiday week, the statement also said.
Last month, Washington designated three Boko Haram leaders as global terrorists; a move it said was aimed to help stem the violence in Nigeria.
The Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Ade Shinaba, said he was not aware of any plot to carry out major attacks in Abuja by any group, noting that the police was were doing everything possible to protect citizens and foreigners from any form of attack.
He said people should not be apprehensive about unconfirmed warnings of imminent attacks.