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Nigerian Security Forces Kill Six Attackers in Delta (Update1)

Bloomberg

 
By Tony Tamuno

Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) — Nigerian security forces killed six unidentified gunmen in the oil-rich Niger Delta region and recovered weapons used by the attackers, a military spokesman said.

The assailants used six speedboats to stage a raid yesterday morning on a military installation near the Soku gas plant, about 15 miles west of Port Harcourt, Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the task force in charge of security in the region, said in an interview. A machine gun, three AK-47 assault rifles and one FN rifle were seized.

“The attack was aimed at crippling our position, taking away our arms and ammunition and damaging the gas plant,” Musa said. “Our men are in full control of the area. There is no cause for alarm.”

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and attacks by armed groups in the southern delta, which accounts for nearly all of the country’s output, have cut more than 20 percent of exports since 2006. While groups such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, claim to be fighting for more local access to oil wealth, others kidnap oil workers for ransom.

In an attack in September, MEND said it destroyed parts of the Soku gas plant, which is owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc. On Sept. 21, the group declared a cease-fire “until further notice” in the delta region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Tamuno in Port Harcourt via Johannesburg at [email protected].

Last Updated: November 11, 2008 02:07 EST

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