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Nigerian police increase security during Easter celebration

Police officials in the predominately Christian nation of Nigeria claimed they've increased security throughout the country to allow Easter Sunday church services and celebrating Nigerian Christians to have a violence-free holy day, according to several reports on Saturday.

Police investigators at the scene of a Boko Haram bombing search for clues.
Police investigators at the scene of a Boko Haram bombing search for clues.Getty Images/AFP

In a statement, Nigerian police officials said they had initiated a nationwide special security operation, including bomb sweeps, overt and covert surveillance operations, and police commando raids during the Christian holy weekend that includes Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

The main focus of the security operation will be the terrorist group known as Boko Haram, who, led by Abubakar Shekau, attacked and burned down a Nigerian town and kidnapped over 100 teenage girls last week and continue to hold most of them captive.

The intensive security operation will also include searches for arms caches as well as special stop and frisk operation, according to former security director and police commanding officer Garry Thompson, who continues to consult on anti-terrorism and security measures.

"The police officers involved in the Easter operation are being selected from the bomb squad, arson and explosion unit, and Nigeria's counter-terrorism squads," said Thompson. "Manpower will also be selected from the police and military's intelligence divisions, border protection units and other special police units."

Besides houses of worship, the police officers will be deployed to recreational parks, airports, borders, shopping malls, and other likely terrorist targets.

Nigeria has been struck by intense terrorist attacks last week, including a bombing on Monday that left at least 75 people dead, and the attack and kidnapping incident in a village that shocked the Nigerian people.