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Nigerian customs intercept illegal shipment of explosives
LAGOS, Sept 24 (AFP) Sep 24, 2011
Customs have seized an illegal shipment of explosives into Nigeria, a country buckling under a wave of bomb attacks blamed on Islamists, including one against UN offices, an official said Saturday.

"A 40-foot container of explosive materials was intercepted yesterday at the port of Tin Can" in Lagos, customs spokesman Wale Adeniyi told AFP.

The container, which arrived a week ago at one of Nigeria's busiest ports, originated from China and was falsely declared to contain industrial spares and children's toys.

"It was declared to be industrial valves and by the source, but it was discovered that the majority of the stuff were explosives," he said.

"It contained all the things that could be used to make explosives -- detonators, wires. They have been confirmed to be explosive materials."

No importer or agent has come up for clearance as yet and no arrests made so far, the official said, adding the container was opened as part of "intelligence surveillance".

In October last year, a container with crates of rockets, explosives and grenades from Iran was also intercepted. The case stirred international attention as Iran is under UN sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Nigeria has in recent months come under unprecedented bomb attacks -- the worst being on the country's UN headquarters in Abuja last month.

A suicide bomber on August 26 made his way through a gauntlet of security at the UN's main compound, forcing his way through the gate before ramming into the building.

The resulting blast blew out the building's first two floors, killing 23 people and leaving 116 others wounded, some seriously.

It was one of the bloodiest attacks targeting the UN.

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