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UpstreamOnline: One hurt in Bonny Island attack

By Upstream staff

Attackers armed with automatic rifles and dynamite blew up a police houseboat on the Bonny Island oil and gas export hub in Nigeria’s southern Niger Delta, seriously injuring one person, a police spokeswoman said.

No oil and gas facilities were damaged. Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell has an oil export terminal at Bonny and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas company has its main facilities there.

Ireju Barasua, a police spokeswoman in the Rivers state capital Port Harcourt, told Reuters the attackers blew up a marine police houseboat, torched some cars and also aimed explosives at the compound of the traditional ruler of Bonny. One man was seriously hurt in the attack.

The raid took place in the middle of the night near the main jetty on Bonny and the attackers fled in speedboats before dawn.

A security expert advising a oil companies in Nigeria said the suspects were a local group that had recently written to state and federal authorities complaining that oil company funds meant for development of the region had been diverted by politicians.

The authorities had tried to negotiate with community chiefs to avert a crisis, but the attempt had failed and local youths had threatened attacks, the adviser said.

Such conflicts are frequent in the Niger Delta, home to Africa’s biggest oil industry which produces 2.1 million barrels per day.

Under corporate social responsibility programmes, oil companies provide funding for what they say are development programmes, but human rights activists say the money often gets used to pay off extortion racketeers, or is pocketed by politicians.

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03 March 2008 05:52 GMT  | last updated: 03 March 2008 05:52 GMT

http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article149813.ece

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