Premium Times (Abuja)

30 March 2014

Nigeria: Security Beefed Up in Abuja After Daring Attack At SSS Headquarters

Security was beefed up on Sunday at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, venue of a meeting of African ministers of finance and economy and other leaders, after a daring attack at the headquarters of the State Security Service which lies near the presidential villa.

Other strategic locations in the capital city also received increased security presence.

The government said the attack which lasted nearly four hours, was a failed jail break attempt, but residents of the area have questioned that claim.

The residents say the official description of a handcuffed suspect overpowering an armed operative before engaging soldiers and SSS agents in a shootout for hours, did not explain the heavy weaponry and large number of troops drafted the area, as well as the sustained period of attack.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) covering the African ministers meeting said additional security personnel had been deployed to the hotel.

The additional armed men, seen within the vicinity of the hotel, include soldiers, police and officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The armed men were supported by sniffer dogs as they took positions within and outside the hotel.

Security was also beefed up in and around military and other security offices in Abuja on Sunday following the attempted jail break.

On the Shehu Shagari Road, where the Force Headquarters is located, the area had been barricaded with armoured personnel carrier, same for the Ministry of Defence, Area 10, Garki, Abuja, at the time of this report.

The entire vicinity of the presidential palace and the SSS headquarters has been cordoned off, making it impossible for journalists to do area assessment with a view to determining what actually happened.

However, there were normal activities in other areas of the city centre. (NAN)

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