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Blinken says attackers of US embassy staff in Nigeria will face justice as Police arrest 2 suspects

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The Police Command in Anambra State has said that two suspects have been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s attack on the US Consulate Convoy in Ogbaru Local Government Area.

Preliminary investigations conducted by the police revealed that seven people were killed in the assault. Of the seven, three were US Consulate officials and four were mobile police escorts.

Speaking on the development on Thursday, Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, said a Joint Security Task Force comprising police tactical teams and troops of the Nigerian Army and Navy raided the suspects’ hideout at Ugwuaneocha community within Ogbaru LGA.

According to him, the security operatives, upon arrival, met a deserted camp. And while the camp was razed down, the commissioner disclosed that two persons of interest had been arrested and were under interrogation by the police.

During the press briefing at the State Police Command headquarters in Amawbia, the Commissioner also stated that the victims, five male officials of the US Embassy and four armed police escorts from Lagos, were on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru.

They were in a convoy of two vehicles when the attack occurred.

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The police chief said further investigations are underway, and findings will be shared with the public in due time.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the attack did not appear to be directed at the U.S. mission there.

In a statement on Wednesday, Blinken said the U.S. mission and its Nigerian counterparts were working to ascertain the location and condition of those unaccounted for. In all, there were nine Nigerian nationals in the convoy, he said.

The convoy was carrying five employees of the U.S. mission to Nigeria and four members of the Nigeria Police Force. They were traveling in advance of a planned visit by U.S. mission personnel to a U.S.-funded flood response project in Nigeria’s Anambra state, Blinken said.

“We condemn in the strongest terms this attack, Blinken said. “We will work closely with our Nigerian law enforcement colleagues in seeking to bring those responsible to justice.

“The United States has no greater priority than the safety and security of our personnel,” he said. “We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the attack, and pledge to do everything possible to safely recover those who remain missing.”

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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