World Economic Forum pledges safe Nigeria meet after attack

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LAGOS (AFP) – The World Economic Forum on Tuesday said its Africa summit will be held in Nigeria’s capital next month despite a bomb attack on the outskirts of the city that killed at least 71 people.

The bombing blamed on Boko Haram Islamists targeted morning commuters at the Nyanya bus terminal south of the city-centre and was the deadliest attack ever in Abuja.

“These tragic events will not stop us from delivering on our promise to host a world-class meeting next month,” the forum said it a statement.

Abuja has hosted a number a high-profile international events, including west African and African Union summits, but the World Economic Forum conference has been described as the most prestigious meet to come to Nigeria’s capital.

The forum said it was putting in place unprecedented security measures to protect delegates in Abuja.

“Our security planning for the World Economic Forum on Africa is already well under way and will be the largest security operation ever mounted in this country for an international summit,” the body said it a statement.

“In total, over six thousand security personnel, consisting of police and army will be deployed, covering a secure area the size of 250 square kilometres.”
Nigerian police have beefed up security across the capital following Monday’s attack and have pledged to intensify surveillance at all “vulnerable targets.”

The summit is set to held at a number of hotels and venues in heavily-guarded central Abuja from May 7 to May 9.

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