Nigeria tightens cargo security after US-bound bombs

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Nigeria has tightened security for US-bound cargo, including checks for explosives, after last week's discovery of two bomb parcels from Yemen addressed to the United States, officials said on Monday.

The West African country will also intensify security for shipments to Nigeria from countries labeled security risks, according to a copy of a new directive issued by aviation authorities.

US counter-terrorism chief John Brennan has linked last year's Christmas Day bid to bring down a Detroit-bound airliner by a Nigerian to the parcel bombs.

Evidence suggested the same person built the intercepted parcel bombs and the device worn by "underwear" bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his failed attack, Brennan said.

"We have taken new security measures at our airports following up on what happened in Dubai and other places," a spokesman for the government agency responsible for airport security, Sam Adurogboye, told AFP.

The directive, which took effect on Saturday, said cargo from Nigeria to the United States directly or via Europe will be specially screened with an explosive detection system in addition to the usual x-ray process.

Cargo to Nigeria originating from countries considered security concerns would go through a similar process, it said.

A number of countries have banned air freight from Yemen in the aftermath of last week's discovery.

US officials have said the parcel bombs intercepted in Dubai and Britain were addressed to synagogues in Chicago.

© 2010 AFP

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