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Militant group claims another oil pipeline blast in Nigeria

A Nigerian militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, on Friday said it had blown up another oil pipeline in the restive south of the country.

“At about 3:00 am (0200 GMT) to 5:00 am, the Niger Delta Avengers blew up Nembe 1, 2 and 3 trunkline in Bayelsa/Rivers states,” spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo said in a statement.

Desmond Agu, of the Nigerian Civil Defence and Security Corps (NCDSC) earlier confirmed the attack on the Tebidaba-Brass pipeline.

“Reports from the swamp area indicate that… a gang of heavily armed youths with two double 200-horsepower speedboats used explosives to blast three different points.”

The pipeline in Bayelsa state, owned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, a local subsidiary of Italian oil major Eni, has been repeatedly attacked.

On Monday, an oil well-head operated by Chevron was attacked in Delta state.

An investigation has been launched to determine the extent of the damage in the latest incident, said Agu.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has claimed responsibility for a string of bombings of Nigeria’s key oil and gas facilities since February.

The attacks have cut the nation’s oil production at a time the west African country is struggling with low global crude prices which have hammered government revenues.

The Avengers want oil majors to leave the Niger delta, blaming them for worsening the region’s poverty and under-development.

The group, which seeks a fairer share of Nigeria’s oil wealth for residents of the region, also wants self-determination for the delta states and political autonomy.

Another militant group, the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), has also warned of attacks in the delta.

The Nigerian government has called for dialogue to end the violence but the Avengers have dismissed reports of a truce as unfounded.

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© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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