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Nigeria rebels say attack Shell pipeline in delta

Reuters

Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:59pm EDT

ABUJA, June 17 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s most prominent militant group said on Wednesday it had sabotaged a Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) oil pipeline in the Niger Delta, the latest attack in its “all-out war” against the military and the oil sector.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it sabotaged a Shell pipeline in southern Nigeria’s Bayelsa state late on Wednesday, its first attack outside Delta state since the military last month declared its biggest military offensive against rebels in years.

“MEND, in furtherance of Hurricane Piper Alpha … destroyed with high explosives a major crude oil trunk line in Bayelsa state belonging to Shell,” the militant group said in an e-mailed statement.

It was not possible independently to confirm the statement.

MEND, responsible for attacks that have led to a cut of one-fifth in Nigeria’s oil production in the past three years, threatened on Monday to extend its attacks throughout the Niger Delta and to offshore oil facilities.

The militant group attacked oil pipelines and pumping stations operated by U.S. oil major Chevron (CVX.N) in the last few weeks, shutting down about 100,000 barrels per day of production in Africa’s largest oil producer.

(Reporting by Randy Fabi; editing by Andrew Dobbie)

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