Posted by AP on
The U.S. Consulate in Lagos reopened Monday after a phoned-in threat prompted it to close down last week.
LAGOS (AP)--The U.S. Consulate in Lagos reopened Monday after a phoned-in threat prompted it to close down last week.
Other missions on the same street that had closed after the Americans closed their consulate Thursday also were open again Monday, but dozens of armed police still patrolled the lagoon-side road, stopping and searching cars. A police bomb squad van was parked near the U.S. Consulate.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Rudolph Stewart, speaking from the capital, Abuja, said Nigerian authorities had given "outstanding assistance and cooperation" in responding to the threat. Authorities in Nigeria have declined to give any details on what the fears were, but a spokeswoman for Germany-based U.S. European Command - which also covers Africa - has said a called-in threat triggered the closure.
The consulates of Italy, Germany, the U.K. and Russia were among those that closed along with the Americans.
The closure in Nigeria, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, helped fuel a rise in oil prices, in a market already rallying on tightening product records in the U.S. Last week's four-day kidnapping of six oil workers in Nigeria subcontracted by Royal Dutch Shell Group (RD, SC) was also cited as a factor in the market rises.
Monday, the oil price hit a new intraday high of $60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The closure came amid U.S.-led counterterrorism exercises with several African nations - including Nigeria - that are part of efforts to improve regional collaboration against militant threats.
Al-Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden purportedly marked Nigeria for liberation in a release posted on the Internet last year. The country of around 130 million is roughly evenly split between Christians and Muslims.
Political, ethnic and religious violence has claimed well over 10,000 lives since President Olusegun Obasanjo came to power in a 1999 election, but the country hasn't experienced any bombings.
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