NIGERIA (Country risk rating: High); 17 November;

A coalition of soldiers and civilian self-protection groups reportedly recaptured at least two towns in north eastern Nigeria which had earlier been seized by the Boko Haram Islamist extremist sect. The towns of Mubi and Chibok, located in the respective insurgent-embattled states of Adamawa and Borno, were allegedly liberated on 13 and 16 November, respectively. However, unconfirmed reports indicate that Boko Haram militants may have captured the Adamawa settlements of Hong and Gombi in recent days. Boko Haram’s capture of these locales has raised concerns that the sect may be planning a large-scale offensive on Adamawa’s state capital, Yola, which is located less than 100km from the aforementioned settlements. In other developments, at least 26 people were killed and scores more wounded in two separate bombings in northern Nigeria. In the first incident, a suspected suicide bomber attacked the Nagarshiku petrol station in the Hotoro area of Kano, Kano state, killing six people and wounding five others. A suicide bomber also similarly killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens at Kasuwan Jagol market in the town of Azare, Bauchi state. Although there were no claims of responsibility, authorities have attributed the attacks to Boko Haram. Due to various security concerns, all non-essential travel to Nigeria continues to be advised against. In light of the Boko Haram insurgency, clients are further advised against all travel to the northern and central Adamawa, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau and Yobe states, which have all been significantly affected by insurgent-related violence. Persons travelling to the region despite this advisory should implement robust personal and residential security precautions at all times; these should include coordinating all movements within the presence of a security escort and ensuring that all accommodation is sought within secured compounds. – Information from Red24