At least 4 killed, bodies set ablaze, during U.S. convoy attack in Nigeria; 3 more abducted
At least four people were killed Tuesday after a U.S. convoy was attacked in Nigeria.
The attackers “murdered two police operatives and two staff of the U.S. consulate and set their bodies and their vehicles ablaze,” Anambra Police Command told CNN. Police spokesman Ikenga Tochukwu told AFP that the gunmen also abducted two additional police operatives and a driver.
None of the casualties were American, according to the National Security Council.
“A U.S. convoy of vehicles was attacked. What I can tell you is that no U.S. citizens were involved and therefore there were no U.S. citizens hurt,” NSC spokesperson John Kirby said during a White House briefing. “We are aware of some casualties, perhaps even some killed, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of where we are right now.”
Nigerian law enforcement confirmed no Americans were involved.
“Mission Nigeria personnel are working with Nigerian security services to investigate,” a State Department spokesperson said, according to Voice of America. The security of our personnel is always paramount, and we take extensive precautions when organizing trips to the field.”
The Nigerian government has blamed recent violence in the region on the Indigenous People of Biafra, an alleged separatist terrorist group. The group’s leader Nnamdi Kanu faces treason charges after he was detained abroad and extradited.
The attack came hours after dozens were killed in unrelated clashes between herders and farmers in central Nigeria and a day after the State Department imposed visa restrictions on specific individuals who interfered in recent Nigerian elections.
“We remain committed to supporting Nigerian aspirations to strengthen democracy and rule of law,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said.