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Xenophobia: Protesters set bonfire on Airport Road as Abuja Shoprite fails to open

Youths protesting the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa on Wednesday made a bonfire on the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja, a few metres from a South African franchise, Shoprite Mall.

Billowing smoke from the bonfire paralysed vehicular traffic on the Expressway as security agents mounted guard over the shopping mall which failed to open for fear of being attacked.

Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and armed policemen were seen providing security in the area.

Similarly, a branch of Shoprite at Jabi, Abuja, was under heavy police protection to deter would-be protesters or looters.

Speaking on a radio programme, the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, said he had deployed police personnel across the city to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Nigerians in South Africa against going to volatile and high-risk areas until the tense situation was brought under control.

It commended the arrest of 70 suspects in connection with the attacks and looting of shops belonging to some Nigerians by the SA authorities.

The MFA spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, in a statement assured Nigerians in South Africa of the protection of the Federal Government.
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