BEIRUT

World

Nigeria police protect phone masts after attacks

Traffic passes through intersecting roads in Nigeria's capital Abuja August 24, 2012. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: TRANSPORT)

ABUJA: Nigerian police officers were guarding telecoms equipment across the country following a spate of attacks on phone masts in the north, the head of the police force said on Friday.

Suspect Islamist militants have blown up, burnt and torn down masts belonging to MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and other mobile groups over the past two days.

Boko Haram, Islamist militants who have killed hundreds this year in the largely Muslim north, has not claimed responsibility. Sources close to the group said its members were concerned they were being traced through their mobile phones.

The group, which wants to carve out an Islamic state, also targets security installations, government offices and churches. Its low level insurgency has lasted more than two years.

The military joint task force for the northeast said on Friday its personnel had killed seven Boko Haram members and arrested 13 more on Wednesday after a gunbattle in northeastern city of Maiduguri, the group's heartland.

The Inspector-General of Police had ordered all regional forces to set up special units "to ensure the safety of telecommunication equipment and installations", a statement from his office said.

In the latest reported attack, gunmen on motorbikes used high-calibre explosives to destroy masts belonging to MTN, Etisalat and privately owned companies Globacom and Visafone in the north's biggest city Kano on Thursday, police said

Attackers also wrecked more than a dozen masts in Kano and Maiduguri on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for MTN Nigeria said by email on Friday that the operator was focusing its efforts on restoring services to customers in the areas hit by the sabotage.

 

Recommended

Related Articles

Entities

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here