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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nigeria's secret police intercept weapons shipment

A large shipment of weapons has been seized by Nigeria's State Security Service at the port in Lagos city.

The secret police say they intercepted 13 containers, some of which had rocket launchers and grenades and other explosives hidden under tiles.

The authorities have said they cannot say who owned the containers or their intended destination.

But correspondents say the discovery has increased fears of possible violence during next year's elections.

'Major departure'

Intelligence agencies say they are still sifting through the weapons and they also included artillery rockets, mortar rounds and rocket launchers.

The BBC's Caroline Duffield in Lagos says the type of weapons described makes this a major departure from previous arms hauls.

Only a small part of the arsenal was shown to the media, she says, but it was enough to worry security experts.

They identified the artillery rockets as Norinco rockets - a type used by the Taliban in Afghanistan - suitable for high-intensity warfare.

Official sources told the BBC the shipment came from Iran.

But the National Security Adviser, Andrew Owoye Azazi, told journalists the authorities were still establishing the origin of the weapons and their intended destination.

"At this point, the only thing we can say is that we have some armaments we have discovered at the port... Let's not jump to conclusions," Mr Azazi said.

Officials told the BBC there had been some arrests, but gave no further details.

Security fears

Security has been stepped up in Lagos since the bombings on 1 October during celebrations of the 50th anniversary of independence.

A militant group from the oil-producing Niger Delta region claimed responsibility for the blasts, and it has threatened to strike again.

Our correspondent says that group has never used heavy weapons of the type just seized in its attacks, and there are fears it might be changing its tactics.

But there is also insecurity in Nigeria's northeast involving the radical Islamist group, Boko Haram -- and this arms find is also prompting fears of a new uprising there, our correspondent adds.


New York bed bugs invade UN building

Mayor worried about their effect on city's global image

UNITED NATIONS - New York's bed bug epidemic has struck the UN headquarters which confirmed Wednesday that the dreaded insect has been detected.

The blood-sucking bugs have been found at landmarks such as the Empire State building, department stores such as Bloomingdales, big name hotels and the Carnegie Hall in recent months and authorities have warned the problem is worsening.

A UN spokesman said the insects were found on October 22 in the library at the world body's headquarters and one week earlier on the upper floors of the HQ. An infestation in 2009 led to an outer building being fumigated. The spokesman stressed however that no staff had reported being bitten.

"We continue to follow the expert advice of our exterminator specialist making further tests with the bed bug sniffing dog to more fully assess and manage the problem," said the spokesman.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed concern this week about the effect the brown insects are having on the city's global image.

The bed bug's bite is a little painful rather than dangerous, but inhabitants are scared because the creature mainly attacks when people are asleep.


Inside SquareVilla… Pictures From P-Square’s Mansion

There has been a lot of speculation about the mansion, and how much it cost. Is it N100 million? N300 million? or N500 million? Whatever the price is, it sure looks like they spent a good amount of money on it. Here are a few words from Peter when asked about the price of the mansion:

“Getting a land in Omole Estate (Ikeja, Lagos) alone is N100m. When you look at the house, especially the finishing, it is over $2million. When people speculated that the house was worth N300 million, we had not even finished the interior. What do you think is the cost of a mansion that has a swimming pool, six living rooms, ten master bedrooms, all fully furnished? It’s far more than the speculated N300million”