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05 Jan 2020 | 11:55 PM UTC

Nigeria: Increased security measures nationwide amid police-issued red alert January 5

The Nigeria Police Force issues a nationwide red security alert on January 5, following US killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani; increased security measures expected in coming days

security
NGA

Event

The Nigeria Police Force announced on Sunday, January 5, that it has issued a red alert nationwide following the US-led airstrike that killed the leader of the Iranian Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad on Friday, January 3. A representative of the Nigerian police said that this follows intelligence that domestic groups are planning "massive public disturbances and sabotage". He also said that police officials have consequently been instructed to employ maximum surveillance and to deploy overt and covert police officers nationwide to protect citizens, foreigners and diplomats in particular, and critical national assets. The police representative did not indicate a timeline for the increased security measures as of Monday, January 6.

A heightened security presence and increased security measures are expected nationwide in the coming days and weeks.

Context

The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3 claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting and killing Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW) the same day. According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike along with six other individuals. The situation remains fluid.

Advice

Individuals in Nigeria are advised to monitor developments and be aware of their surroundings, use caution, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for resultant disruptions to transportation, report suspicious objects and behavior to the police, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.