Namibian authorities tight lipped on suspicious luggage

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Namibian police on Thursday refused to confirm the contents of a piece of luggage intercepted here before it was put on a Germany-bound plane after German police said it contained batteries attached to a detonator and ticking clock.

"It was a laptop bag wrapped in plastic, which was then opened," police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga told national radio, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

Police could not confirm earlier reports from Germany that the unaccompanied piece of luggage contained batteries linked by wires to a clock.

"Our officers found the parcel suspicious as it did not have a travel tag and it was thus removed from the luggage," said Ndeitunga.

The LTU/Air Berlin flight number AB 7377 to Munich with 296 passengers and 10 crew members was scheduled to fly from Hosea Kutako International Airport, near the capital Windhoek.

"It was a routine check... More investigations are ongoing, we expect this process to take not less than a week," Ndeitunga told NBC.

The deputy head of mission of the German embassy in Namibia, Matthias Hansen, said the embassy was monitoring the situation.

"It is known to us and there is close contact between the Namibian Police and German police," Hansen told AFP.

The threat came after German government hiked security measures at rail stations, airports and other public spaces Wednesday after a tip-off from a "foreign partner" about an attack planned this month.

© 2010 AFP

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