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03 Dec 2020 | 05:02 PM UTC

Nigeria: Suspected rival activists open fire on political convention at Old Parade Ground, Abuja, December 3 /update 1

Suspected rival activists open fire on political convention at Old Parade Ground, Abuja, Nigeria, Dec. 3. Casualties reported.

security
NGA

Event

Unidentified assailants believed to be members of a rival political group attacked a convention being held by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja during the evening of Dec. 3. According to preliminary reports, the attackers were armed with firearms and machetes; at least 20 people were injured in the assault. There have as yet been no reports of fatalities. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Authorities will likely maintain a heightened security posture near the scene of the incident through at least Dec. 4. Localized traffic disruptions are likely. Retaliatory attacks cannot be ruled out in the coming hours.

Context

Political violence occurs frequently in Nigeria, with rival groups often clash over employment and financial resources. NANS, an umbrella group for students of institutes of higher learning, had been meeting to elect new national leaders at the time of the attack. While it remains unclear who the perpetrators were, unconfirmed rumors that vote-buying was occurring at the event might have played a part in provoking the incident.

Advice

Avoid the scene of the attack until security personnel have fully secured the area and given the all-clear. Heed the instructions of local authorities.

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