Nigeria beefs up security

2010-10-16 21:42

Abuja - Nigeria tightened security on Saturday at the busy Abuja international airport, a day after the militant group Mend threatened an imminent attack in the nation's capital, travellers said.

The officials, armed with bomb detectors, screened vehicles about 250m out on the airport access road, including conducting physical inspections of some vehicles.

"There was no such security measures were in place at the airport three days ago," one traveller said.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) threatened in a statement on Friday that a bomb attack was "imminent" in Abuja, which experienced twin car bombings two weeks ago in which at least 12 people died and several others injured.

The threat came in s statement that criticised the government's response to the October 1 Independence Day bombings.

Bomb drill

Mend, which claimed responsibility for the Abuja blasts, said that opponents of President Goodluck Jonathan have been falsely implicated ahead of elections early next year, and vowed to carry out another attack to prove them innocent.

Security officials with bomb detectors were also stationed on Saturday at the entrance of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The corporation which manages Nigeria's vast oil and gas industry, carried out a simulated bomb drill for its workers shortly after the October 1 blasts.

Nigeria's police chief Hafiz Ringim, promised in a statement on Friday to ensure the safety and security of lives and property all over the country.