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Nigerian rebel group blows up another Shell pipeline
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17:01, September 16, 2008

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Nigerian rebel group has blown up another crude oil pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company at Bakana Front in Degema Local Government Area in Nigeria's southeastern Rivers State, according to a latest statement reaching here on Tuesday.

"At 2210 hrs on Monday, September 15, 2008, a major crude oil pipeline at Bakana Front in Degema Local Government Area in Rivers state of Nigeria belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company was destroyed with high explosives by Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) detonation engineers backed by heavily armed fighters," said the statement.

But the company sources have not yet confirmed the attack by now.

MEND, the most prominent rebel group in oil-rich Niger Delta region, since early Saturday clashed with Nigerian military forces in Rivers State.

It had launched a series of attacks on oil facilities and military targets in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, blowing up a major trunk pipeline at Nembe creak and capturing oil and gas stations in the area on Sunday.

The group also in a statement sent on Monday announced to release two South African hostages, which allegedly were kidnapped by pirates in Rivers state and was rescued by MEND, at the "earliest convenience".

MEND at the very beginning of the battle, starting on early Saturday, had ordered oil companies to evacuate their workers and foreign vessels to leave ports in Nigeria's oil region to avoid militant attacks.

Nigerian President Yar'Adua has on September 10 started to reshuffle his government and created a new Ministry of Niger Delta, vowing to promoted development and peace in the country's oil-producing area.

But the rampant militancy in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta region has become a big headache for Nigerian government, which has created a brand-new Ministry of Niger Delta on Wednesday allegedly to facilitate peace and development in the region.

Since the beginning of 2006, militant groups emerged in Niger Delta region, fighting for more local control of natural resources, especially oil, through way of kidnapping oil workers and attacks on oil facilities.

More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped and a string of attacks on oil pipelines, wells and terminals have been registered by now, which have led to about 25 percent oil production drop compared with the country's peak oil output of 2.6 million barrels per day.


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