The United States, in its latest travel advisories warned its citizens to avoid some 14 Nigerian states, rife with terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
Although it approved travel to other parts, it urged its citizens to “Reconsider travel to Nigeria”.
the updated advisory, the U.S. State Department added at least 116 countries this week to its “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list.
The UK, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and others are on the list, citing a “very high level of COVID-19.”
Before Tuesday, the State Department listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Do Not Travel.” The State Department now lists 150 countries at Level Four.
Nigeria is categorised as Level 3.
Unlike countries categorised as Level 4, based on the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nigeria has a good rating on COVID-19 prevalence.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country”, the State Department said.
It then listed areas the American visitor should avoid, while in Nigeria.
These are: Borno, Yobe, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.
It also banned American citizens from going to Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime.
In a country summary on Nigeria, the U.S. State Department wrote:
“Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.
“Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.
“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast.
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather. Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.
There is civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of Southern Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region. Armed criminality, including kidnapping and maritime crime, is also pervasive in this region.
Violence can flare up between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.
Israel-Palestine Conflict: Rockets fired from Lebanon land off Israeli coast
Three rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel on Thursday, raising fears that violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip could spill over into other parts of the region.
The Israeli military announced that the rockets landed into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Israel. No casualties were immediately reported from the strike.
The attack raises the risk of the violence expanding to two fronts as violence between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip shows no signs of abating in the near future.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attack, and Lebanese officials familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that it was unclear which group launched the rockets or precisely where they landed.
South Lebanon is the power base of the Shiite organization Hezbollah and other armed groups that have clashed with the Israeli military in the past, including during a brutal war in 2006.
The launches from Lebanon come as the Israeli military builds up its presence along the border with the Gaza Strip, with Israel not ruling out a ground offensive into the enclave to stop the rocket attacks.
An incursion would be the first since 2014, when dozens of Israeli troops and thousands of Palestinians were killed during the most recent war between Israel and Hamas, the armed group that controls the Gaza Strip.
Israel has launched a string of punishing air strikes on Gaza after Hamas and other groups fired a barrage of rockets across Israel. In a sign of the escalating violence, Hamas made the rare move of targeting Jerusalem and sending a flood of rockets to Tel Aviv, Israel’s major metropolitan area.
The violence was sparked after a now-suspended case in Israel over whether Jewish settlers could evict Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Clashes between residents and police escalated when Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the waning days of the holy month of Ramadan.
U.S. Colonial Pipeline Pays N2.043b In Ransom To Hackers
U.S. Colonial Pipeline has paid a ransom close to $5million, about N2.043 billion to hackers, who disrupted its gas supply to America’s east coast.
According to Bloomberg, the company paid the Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting earlier reports that it did not plan to pay.
Colonial Pipeline paid in cryptocurrency that was not traceable just hours after the attack, two sources with knowledge on the matter told Bloomberg on Thursday morning.
Upon getting the payment, the hackers provided Colonial Pipeline with a decrypting tool to restore the hacked network, according to the sources.
The FBI believes that the crippling cyberattack was orchestrated by a Russia-based criminal group.
The company said it started resuming operations Wednesday evening and by Thursday morning, product was flowing to most of the markets it services.
Israel And Palestine Conflict: Israeli Forces Hit Hamas Military Intelligence Centre, Many Feared Dead
Israeli Forces Hit Hamas Military Intelligence Centre, Many Feared Dead
The Israel Defense Forces has reported that it has just conducted an airstrike on a Hamas intelligence facility with dozens of operatives inside.
Moments ago, IDF jets and aircraft struck Hamas military intelligence offices in Gaza.
Before the strike, we warned civilians in the building & allowed sufficient time for them to evacuate the site.
We are continuing to strike terror targets in Gaza.
Israel Defense Forces
These are the faces of some of the top Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and terrorists.
They were responsible for the rocket attacks against Israel in the last 72 hours.
They will never plan another terror attack again.
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