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BBC News: Nigeria militants in deadly raid

Nigerian Terrorists

Militants in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region have attacked a pumping station, killing three security guards.

A spokesman for the oil giant Total says the station, which produces some 35,000 barrels of oil a day, has shut.

Meanwhile, Shell is evacuating its family staff members after a car bomb on Monday exploded inside a residential compound in the city of Port Harcourt.

Both militants and local criminals have attacked oil facilities and kidnapped oil workers to obtain ransom money.

A Total official told Associated Press news agency that the Obagi station in Rivers State had been shut down, but gave no further details of the attack.

However, the police confirmed the raid.

“Militants at 3.30am attacked a facility at Obagi. Three people were killed,” a police spokesman told Reuters news agency.

Royal Dutch Shell in Port Harcourt says the relocation of families and dependants from three residential quarters was a precautionary move.

“We don’t want to take chances and jeopardise the safety and security of our workers and their families,” a spokesman told AFP news agency.

Another blast on Monday hit the fence of a compound belonging to Italian company Agip.

There were no casualties in either attack, which the militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) claimed responsibility for Monday’s car bomb attacks.

Mend are demanding the release of two leaders and more oil wealth for locals.

The world’s eighth biggest exporter of crude has been losing more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day since February when militants demanding greater local control of oil wealth staged a series of raids on the industry.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/12/21 09:57:40 GMT

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