UN alerts on attacks during Eid-El-Kabir

Ahead of tomorow’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) Nigeria has issued security advisory to its staff members, alerting them of possible attacks in Maiduguri and locations in the North Eastern part of the country during the celebrations.
The Federal Government has declared Tuesday, August 21, and Wednesday, August 22 as public holidays to celebrate the 2018 Eid-el-Kabir.
In the security advisory document, marked ‘confidential’, the UNDSS said the alert was based not on specific information of any impending activities by extremists but on unconfirmed reports of planned attacks across Borno and other states in the North East.
The advisory reads, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Tuesday and Wednesday, 21 and 22 August 2018 as public holidays to mark the Muslim Eid-el-Kabir festival.
The period will be marked with high attendance of prayers in mosques and praying grounds followed by ritual sacrifice and family visits.
“While UNDSS does not have specific information on any impending activities by extremists, there are unconfirmed reports of planned attacks across Borno State and other states in the North-East.
“Therefore, all staff members are requested to take precautionary measures by reducing their exposure by avoiding places that could be symbolic targets for possible IED attacks”.
Giving an analysis of previous attacks during Eid-el-Kabir celebrations in the North East, UNDSS noted that the festival has always been characterized by an upsurge in the threats of terrorist attacks from Boko Haram insurgents.
It added, “The security trend analysis is still very predictive of the likelihood of direct or indirect attacks of small arm fire (SAF) and light arm fire (LAF); PBIED attacks in Eid prayer locations; shopping malls and marketplaces; vehicular gridlock due to intensive military checkpoints and movement restriction within and around Maiduguri city; collateral impact due to nearness to military locations; kidnapping; house break-in and common theft to be high during the festivities.
“UNDSS reminds you that the best mitigation measure remains to minimize your exposure!”
It listed the “generic security recommendations to UN staff to include maintenance of high degree of alertness and security awareness; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; monitor local news stations for updates that may be disseminated from time to time; review personal security arrangements; avoid crowded public areas and gatherings; review and limit errands to popular commercial places to reduce exposure; ensure that personal emergency communication system remains functional always and report any suspicious activity around offices or residential premises to UNDSS to enable UNDSS to coordinate appropriate action through host government security response”.
•Sourced from a Daily Independent report

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