October 26, 2010 / 5:16 PM / 8 years ago

Nigerian secret service intercepts arms shipment

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s secret service said on Tuesday it had intercepted a container holding rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives in the main port of Lagos, weeks after deadly car bomb attacks in the capital Abuja.

The State Security Service (SSS) said it had intercepted 13 containers in Apapa Wharf, in Lagos, as part of tightened security measures introduced after the October 1 bombs, which killed at least 10 people near an independence day parade.

“On opening the first container, the service operatives discovered rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives,” SSS spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said, adding the weapons were concealed among crates of floor tiles.

She said the paperwork said the shipment was made up of building materials and that the other containers were still being searched.

The Abuja car bombs, claimed by the main militant group in the oil-producing Niger Delta in the south, have heightened tensions in Africa’s most populous nation ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections due next year.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which claimed the October 1 attacks, has warned of further strikes, although the security services have said the main suspects are now in detention.

There is also insecurity in the remote northeast, where a radical Islamist sect has firebombed police stations and shot dead police officers, politicians and traditional leaders.

The unrest involving members of the Boko Haram sect has raised fears of a repeat of an uprising last year which led to days of gun battles with the security forces in which hundreds of people were killed.

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