ACCRA: Police in Ghana on Tuesday said they were investigating whether three people had links to extremist groups after they were arrested following the discovery of suspected explosives in the capital.

The Ghana Police Service announced in a statement late on Monday that the suspects were detained after the discovery in the Odorkor area of Accra.

On Tuesday it said three men — identified as Esmaila Ali Musah, Abdul Karim Yakubu and Osman Hassan — had been charged with possession of explosives and remanded in custody to reappear in court on January 30.

No further details were given and Ghana’s most senior police officer, Inspector General of Police David Asante-Apeatu, said the men’s nationalities had yet to be established.

The explosives were believed to be grenades and specialists were working to determine whether they were viable devices, he told a news conference at police headquarters.

“Our investigation seeks to answer questions such as whether these persons are terrorists, whether they have linkage with any terrorist group, how they obtained the objects, their sources, potential allies and many more.”

Asante-Apeatu said the investigation would look at the men’s “potential allies inside and outside the country” and that officers were working with “the relevant agencies”.

Ghana has largely been spared the extremist attacks that have hit other countries in West Africa.

But security was tightened in April 2016 after a warning the country and neighbouring Togo to the east could be the next target for jihadists who killed 19 in Ivory Coast the previous month.

Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed that attack on the Grand-Bassam resort in Ivory Coast, following a similar strike in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou in January that killed 30.

Ghana has borders with both countries.

Asked about security in Ghana, Asante-Apeatu told reporters: “If you look at countries around the world, no one can say, ‘I’m immune from issues of this kind’ ...

“In Ghana, I think we have managed the situation up to this time.”