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Nigerian militia attack Shell oil pipelines

NIGERIAN insurgents have claimed responsibility for attacks on three oil installations belonging to Royal Dutch Shell in the Niger Delta today, marking an escalation in their efforts to destabilise the energy industry in Africa’s most important exporter of crude. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said in an emailed statement that it had attacked Shell pipelines at Adamakiri and Kula, both in Rivers state in the eastern Niger Delta, in the early hours this morning. The statement added that it had also attacked the Afremo offshore oilfields, believed to be operated by Sahara and not Shell as wrongly reported by some media outlets, which is situated around14 miles from an export terminal through which crude oil from Shell’s Forcados fields is pumped. Arild Nodland of Bergen Risk Services, which monitors Nigeria closely, said that he has spoken to a senior industry source in the country who confirmed that the three incidents had indeed taken place. “Shell has had a couple of bangs, as he put it,” said Mr Nodland. Perhaps significantly, the attacks are the first to strike Rivers state, the most easterly of the three main states in the Niger Delta, since MEND launched the current sabotage campaign following an offensive by the Nigerian military in the western delta last month.

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