An alarming new U.S. travel advisory warns Nigeria's Islamic uprising could expand out of the north and warns against travel to 16 of the West African nation's 37 states where Americans have suffered violent crimes from kidnappings and rape to home invasions.
The advisory posted at the U.S. State Department website and dated Jan. 8 tells citizens to expect little help from law enforcers known for harassing and shaking down foreigners and Nigerians at checkpoints.
It says U.S. missionaries in northern Nigeria have received "night letters" — covertly distributed specific written threats to their safety.
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Home invasions remain a threat with armed robbers getting into even guarded compounds.
The advisory warns of increasing piracy in Nigerian waters in the Gulf of Guinea, where armed gangs operate despite the Nigerian Navy.