‘Bomb Threat’ Curtails Nigeria World Cup Viewings

Authorities in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Adamawa have ordered all venues planning to screen live coverage of the football World Cup to close.

They say they have received intelligence reports of planned bomb attacks during the competition which opened in Brazil last Thursday.

Adamawa is one of the states badly affected by Islamist violence.

Open-air viewing centres – where people pay to watch live football matches – are popular throughout Nigeria.

“Our action is not to stop Nigerians… watching the World Cup. It is to protect their lives,” Brig-Gen Nicholas Rogers was quoted by the AFP agency as saying last Wednesday in Yola, the capital of Adamawa.

Earlier this month, the US Embassy in Uganda urged people to exercise caution when attending venues that may attract large crowds during the World Cup, saying there was continued threats of terror attacks in the East Africa nation.

Somali Islamists bombed two restaurants in Kampala which were showing the World Cup final four years ago, killing more than 70 people.

North-eastern Adamawa state has often been targeted by Boko Haram Islamist militants.

On June 1, at least 14 people were killed in a bomb attack at a bar that was screening a televised football match in Adamawa. No group claimed responsibility for the blast, but Boko Haram were the main suspects.

The state is one of three in Nigeria that have been placed under emergency rule because of the Boko Haram rebellion.

Correspondents say many fans have no means other than the viewing centres to watch the Nigerian team in action.

Boko Haram has come under the international spotlight after it recently abducted more than 200 girls from a school in northern Nigeria.