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November 05, 2011

US Warns of Attacks in Nigerian Capital Following Wave of Violence in North

The U.S. embassy in Nigeria is warning of possible new attacks, just days after a wave of violence in northern Nigeria killed more than 100 people.

The embassy said it has information that the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram may strike hotels and other locations in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, during the Eid-al-Adha holiday.  The statement, posted on the embassy website, named as possible targets several hotels commonly frequented by diplomats, politicians and foreigners.

Last August, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for an attack on the U.N. headquarters in Abuja that claimed more than a dozen lives.

Boko Haram also is blamed for Friday's violence, during which gunmen targeted police stations, churches and an army base in small towns in northern Nigeria. It was one of the deadliest days of the sect's history.

The attacks have been condemned by the U.N. Security Council and by Pope Benedict, who on Sunday told worshippers in Rome that the violence serves only to sow hatred and create divisions.

Nigeria's population of 160 million is divided almost in half between Muslims living mostly in the north and Christians living mostly in the south.

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," aims to establish a Muslim state in northern Nigeria.