US warns of wave of militant attacks in Nigeria

Militants in Nigeria are planning a major new wave of attacks and kidnappings in the next few days that could include up to 20 simultaneous bombings across the country’s oil-rich delta region, United States diplomats warned on Friday.

The warning came in an e-mailed statement sent to American citizens from the US consulate in Nigeria’s main city, Lagos, and a US diplomat confirmed plans for fresh attacks are believed to be under way.

“The US government has learned that as of late October 2006, a militant Niger Delta group may have finalised its plans for a unified attack against oil facilities in the Niger Delta region,” the statement said.

“The attacks allegedly will be carried out sometime during the first week of November and will include 10 to 20 simultaneous bombings of land-based targets and a series of separate attacks on oil installations in which expatriate workers will be taken hostage.”

The statement gave no details on what specific oil installations might be targeted.

A diplomat at the US consulate in Lagos, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the press about the issue, confirmed the threat was being taken seriously but had no other details.—Sapa-AP

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