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Terrorist attack likely in Ghana – UK gov’t advises citizens in security alert

British citizens living in Ghana have been advised to be vigilant as terrorists are likely to carry out attacks in the country

An alert issued by the United Kingdom government said localised outbreaks of civil unrest can occur at short notice and can become violent.

It added that the attacks could be indiscriminate, including places visited by foreigners.

“Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Ghana. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.Terrorist groups associated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Islamic State of Libya and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) present a threat in the region. These groups have demonstrated capability and intent by mounting attacks against security forces and civilians in several countries, most recently in Burkina Faso and Mali.

“While there have been no recent attacks in Ghana, you should remain vigilant, particularly in northern border areas and in busy public locations (including beach resorts, hotels, cafes, restaurants and places of worship) across the country,” the alerted on the UK government website stated.

The caution comes after a similar warning was issued by the Canadian authorities following the kidnapping of two of its citizens.

Kidnappings police report

A release by the police indicating progress with kidnapping cases in 2018

An Uber driver who had been booked to pick the two young ladies – Bailen Chitty, 19 and Lauren Patricia Catherine, 20 – is assisting police in investigations.

Police confirmed Bailen and Lauren’s kidnapping and have mounted a search for them.

The security alert on the Canadian embassy’s website highlights Agbogbloshie, Ashaiman, Avenor, Nima, Sowutuom and Sukura suburbs as crime prone areas in Accra, warning Canadians who wish to visit or those already in the country to stay away from these areas especially at night.

On the nature of crimes to be expected, it lists pickpocketing, purse snatching and attacks by some motor riders.

The alert warns Canadians to be conscious of their surroundings in Ghana, as “violent crimes such as armed robbery or kidnapping may occur.”

Kidnapped girls

An increasing trend of kidnappings in Ghana has left citizens worried and security agencies on high alert. Three girls kidnapped in Takoradi in the Western region last year have yet to be found.

Not too long ago, a 30-year-old Indian man was also kidnapped in Kumasi by gun-wielding men.

The kidnappers demanded a $500,000 ransom after sending photos of the victim to his family with a gun pointed to his head.

Umpakan Chodri was later rescued at Parkoso in the Asokore-Mampong Municipality by a team of police officers.

Before Umpakan’s abduction, police had foiled a kidnap-for-ransom incident involving a diplomat.

Sixty-one-year-old Nabil Makram Basbous, the Consular-General and Head of Mission of Estonia to Ghana was also kidnapped during his regular morning walk in his neighbourhood in Accra.

Around 90,000 British nationals visit Ghana every year, the UK government notes that while most visits are trouble-free, crime does occur.

It explains that criminal activity ranging from petty street crime to violent crime can occur at any time. The travel advice for nationals is to take sensible precautions.

“There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time,” the alert added.

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