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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Oil Rig Attacked, Naval Officer Taken Hostage!

From The Times of Nigeria,
Wednesday, 05 July 2006

BY Sunny Ofili

An oil rig belonging to ConOil was last night attacked and a naval officer stationed aboard abducted by unknown armed men believed to be members of militant Niger Delta youths fighting for more autonomy and control of oil resource in the area.

The militants also carted away some automatic weapons belonging to the Nigerian Navy.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The major rebel group operating in the area, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) last week warned the government of more attacks.

The Sangana rig owned and operated by CoilOil is located in the offshore of Bayelsa state. The militants according to an eye witness who is a security expert in the region, stormed a navy vessel and took a naval officer hostage. All the staff onboard the rig are said to be accounted for and on a lockdown pending the determination of the damage.

As at press time, details of the attack remain sketchy. The company is said to be assessing the situation and there has been no official confirmation of the attack from the government.

The whereabouts of the abducted naval officer is unknown.

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