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Militants kill 18, bomb NNPC, radio stations in southeast Nigeria
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07:46, August 13, 2007

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Militants have bombed two government facilities in Port Harcourt and killed about 18 people on the sixth day of their onslaught on the Rivers State in southeast Nigeria.

Four of those killed on Saturday were policemen, who were shot at their duty posts in Trans-Amadi, Garrison and Diobu.

The gun-wielding youths reportedly detonated dynamite on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station and Radio Rivers on Degema Street, before daybreak on Saturday.

They killed a security man in a house close to the radio station, but could not gain access to the transmitters of the station.The gunmen later moved towards the main industrial area of the state, Trans-Amadi, and killed three riot policemen.

In Garrison, they gunned down a riot policemen and a civilian, who were apparently unaware of the invasion of the city by the attackers.

No fewer than 15 bullet-riddled corpses had been recovered and deposited at the Rivers State-owned Braithwaite Memorial Hospital near the Government House Port Harcourt, by daybreak.

The Nigerian Army has moved in soldiers to check the festering security situation.The soldiers deployed from the 2nd Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, immediately mounted roadblocks from the entrance of the Government House to the Old Port Harcourt Township and frisked motorists and pedestrians.

The police came out with more Armoured Personnel Carriers and deployed their men in all the roads to curtail the excesses of the militias.As the stop-and-search operations began, soldiers intercepted a Carina Toyota car loaded with arms and ammunition just as it was heading towards the Government House, Port Harcourt.

The occupants reportedly opened fire and wounded a soldier on the leg, while the soldiers in turn killed two of them and destroyed the car.

The relics of the car was left at the Government House Road Junction with one of the head lamps still on for sometime and was later towed away by policemen from the Governor's Office.

Worried by the worsening situation in Port Harcourt, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Andrew Azazi, and the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, flew into Port Harcourt and held a closed- door meeting with the state Governor, Celestine Omehia, on the development in the state.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Okiro said the security agencies were set to battle the criminals in Port Harcourt and bring an end to the killings in the state.

He said the killings were unacceptable to the Federal Government and that the government was all out to put an end to the lawlessness in the city.

Source: Xinhua

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