A Russian-registered cargo ship carrying weapons and explosives said to be en route to Nigeria has been intercepted in South Africa.

The vessel, named Lada, which was boarded by the South African Police, according to reports, left Madagascar before stopping at Ngqura port, outside the eastern city of Port Elizabeth, where it was detained after a security check on Sunday.

Olwethu Mdabula, spokeswoman for the Transnet state transport company, told AFP: "We are aware that she has dangerous cargo - explosives and weapons - on board."

She, however, declined to give further details.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for the Hawks Police Investigative Unit, also confirmed to AFP that the ship contained weapons.

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