Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Nigeria: Mend claims Warri-Escravos pipeline attack

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) has claimed responsibility for a weekend attack on the Warri-Escravos pipeline in the Niger Delta. The attack on the pipeline, supplying a large refinery, was confirmed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Over the past year, Mend's activities in the oil-rich Delta subsided following a ceasefire agreement but a small faction of the group's activists have recently resumed criminal activity. The group, fighting for equal distribution of oil wealth, issued a warning to the media, saying, "This attack and similar attacks on pipelines which will take place within the next few days is a reminder to the Nigerian government of the futility of wasting the nation's resources in combating militancy without addressing the underlying causes of agitation in the Niger Delta".

The Nigerian authorities believe that the breakaway faction is also responsible for the twin car bombings which killed 12 people during a celebration of Nigeria's 50 years of independence last month.

Over the weekend, the army said it had arrested 63 militants in connection with the recent kidnapping of ExxonMobil, Afren and Shell oil workers released last Wednesday [17th November]. The operation was the first successful rescue of foreign captives in the Delta without any of the hostages being killed in the process.

Source: BBC News

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