A U.S. travel advisory warns Nigeria's uprising could expand out of the north and counsels against travel to 16 of the West African nation's 36 states, saying Americans have suffered violent crimes from kidnappings and rape to home invasions.
The advisory says nine foreign nationals including Americans died last year in kidnappings in southwest Nigeria, three of them killed by their captors during military-led rescue raids.
The advisory posted at the U.S. State Department website and dated Jan. 8 tells citizens to expect little help from law enforcers known for harassing and shaking down foreigners and Nigerians at checkpoints.
It says U.S. missionaries in northern Nigeria have received "night letters" — covertly distributed specific written threats to their safety.
It says U.S. citizens should be particularly vigilant around government security facilities; churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds gather such as hotels, clubs, beer parlors, restaurants, markets and shopping malls; and all other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.
"Late 2013 saw an increase in Boko Haram attacks and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria," the travel advisory says. "Boko Haram is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes."
It warns "U.S. citizens should be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country."
The United States advises against all but essential travel to all 13 northern and central-northern Nigerian states as well as central Plateau state, and the oil-rich southwestern states of Delta and Bayelsa, on the Gulf of Guinea.
It adds that international companies and local authorities assert that the number of kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria is underreported.
And home invasions "remain a serious threat," with armed robbers getting into even heavily guarded compounds.
"Violent crimes occur throughout the country," the advisory says. "U.S. citizen visitors and residents have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglaries, armed robberies, carjackings, rapes, kidnappings, and extortion."
AgenciesLast Mod: 12 Ocak 2014, 15:01