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US Closes Consulate in Nigeria, Citing 'Security Issue'

The United States has temporarily closed its consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, citing an unspecified security issue.

A public affairs officer (Claudia Annyaso) at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja told VOA Friday that the security issue is being addressed by the U.S. Mission in Nigeria and relevant Nigerian authorities.

The officer would not speculate on when the consulate would reopen and had no further information about the issue, which was not described as a specific threat.

Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden has cited Nigeria as a candidate for what he called "liberation."

Nigeria is a major petroleum producer and Africa's most populous nation. The population is split between Muslims and Christians. The country has been rocked by violent ethnic clashes in recent months.