Militant Nigerian group claims attack on Shell pipeline

May 26th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by admin  

Nairobi/Abuja, May 26 (DPA) A militant group claimed Monday it had sabotaged a Shell pipeline in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta and killed 11 soldiers in the ensuing gun battle. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said that in the early hours of Monday it had sabotaged a major trunk pipeline at the Awoba flow station in Rivers State.

Neither Shell not the Nigerian military were initially able to verify the claims.

“Today’s attack is dedicated to the administration of Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan who have failed after one year in office to ensure peace, security and reconciliation in the Niger Delta region,” MEND said in an emailed statement.

Regular attacks have cut production in the region by around a fifth since the rebels began pushing for more local control over oil in 2006.

President Yar’Adua and Vice President Jonathan last year promised to negotiate with the militants and address their grievances as they took office.

Nigeria is the eighth-largest oil exporter in the world and the biggest in Africa.

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