Nigeria boosted security at foreign diplomatic buildings after a fatal assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya and protests in Egypt over an American movie that was derogatory of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other officials were killed in an attack on the American consulate that started on Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya, while protesters in Cairo stormed the U.S. embassy there.
Nigerian police are on “red alert” and ensuring “24-hour water-tight security in and around all embassies and foreign missions in Nigeria,” spokesman Frank Mba said today in an e- mailed statement from Abuja, the capital.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of more than 160 million people, is almost evenly split between a largely Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south. In 2002, more than 100 people died in sectarian riots in the northern Kano and Kaduna cities after an area newspaper published a report about a Miss World pageant in Abuja that radical Muslim groups said insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Authorities in Africa’s top oil producer are battling an Islamic insurgency by Boko Haram in the Muslim north and Abuja that has seen hundreds killed so far this year. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks and says it’s campaigning to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria.
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