Reuters International

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has ordered increased security at its Abidjan and San Pedro ports after receiving information indicating "probable terrorist attacks" on its national territory, according to a transport ministry document seen by Reuters on Sunday.

The document, dated March 24 and verified as authentic by a senior Ivorian maritime security official, did not give further details on the specific nature of the threats.

The decision, placing International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) on security level two, comes amid a regional maritime exercise -- known as Obangame Express -- sponsored by the U.S. military's Africa Command.

Nearly 20 African nations are participating in the training exercise, most of which are to take place offshore of Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan.

In addition to its U.S. military sponsor, other international participants include Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, France, Denmark, Canada, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Under the ISPS's level two, the threat is considered higher than normal and security is tightened both in ports and on ships.

(Reporting by Ange Aboa and Joe Bavier; Editing by Susan Thomas and David Goodman)


 Reuters International