United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has gave details of the attack on a U.S. convoy in Anambra State.
The convoy was said to have been carrying nine Nigerian nationals, including five employees of the U.S. Mission to Nigeria and four members of the Nigeria Police Force.
Blinken disclosed that four members of the advance party were killed, with the whereabouts of some others still unknown. He said the motive for the attack was yet unknown, while suggesting it may not have been pre-targeted at the U.S. mission.
The American government official disclosed that the Nigerians were travelling in advance of a planned visit by U.S. Mission personnel to a U.S.-funded flood response project in Anambra.
According to Blinken, “We do not yet know the motive for the attack, but we have no indications at this time that it was targeted against our mission.
“The assailants killed at least four members of the convoy, and U.S. Mission personnel are working urgently with Nigerian counterparts to ascertain the location and condition of the members of the convoy who are unaccounted for.”
“We condemn in the strongest terms this attack. We will work closely with our Nigerian law enforcement colleagues in seeking to bring those responsible to justice.
“The United States has no greater priority than the safety and security of our personnel. We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the attack, and pledge to do everything possible to safely recover those who remain missing.
“We deeply value our relationship with our locally employed staff and our partnership with Nigeria.”
“The United States reaffirms its commitment to the people of Nigeria to assist in the fight against violence and insecurity. The U.S. Mission personnel are working urgently with Nigerian counterparts to ascertain the location and condition of the members of the convoy who are unaccounted for,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sympathy over the loss of lives of the two US Mission workers and policemen.
In a condolence message on Wednesday, the president said he is “very sad” to have heard about the killing of the embassy staff members and the officers accompanying them.