United Nations To Downgrade Nigeria’s Security Scope

Aug.31, 2011 

Following the August 26 bombing of the Abuja office of the United Nations, that killed 23 people and injured 73, the body is set to review its security judgment of Nigeria, an official said.

UN Under Secretary-General for Safety and Security, Gregory Starr, told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday that they believed an earlier warning by the Boko Haram sect which claimed responsibility for the attack, was a low-to-medium threat.

“It wasn’t the type of country where we expected this type of thing to happen,” he said. “The assessment was incorrect. We need to reassess the situation.”

The United Nation’s building in Abuja was last week bombed by a suicide-bomber driving a Honda CRV who knocked down security barriers and crashed into the reception area of the building which accommodated 26 UN organisations.

Boko Haram, a terrorist Islamic sect in Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the attack, through a telephone call by its spokesman to the BBC hours after the Friday blast.

Those killed in the suicide attack include 11 UN employees, 10 Nigerians and one Norwegian, nine “non-UN staff and three unidentified others,” the body said in a statement.

Twelve “critically injured” employees were evacuated to South Africa on Monday, 26 other injured people remained in hospitals around Abuja while the rest have been discharged, UN Resident Coordinator Dauda Toure added.

The Boko Haram sect is blamed for series of bombings around Abuja and some states in the north, including the June 18 attack on the national police headquarters that killed five people.

At a meeting with diplomats in Abuja on Monday, Hafiz Ringim, the Inspector General of Police, said arrests have been made in connection with the UN attack. There are reports, however, that three suspects arrested over the bombing have links to al-Qaeda and had received training in Mali, Chad and Somalia.(Daily Times)