Nigeria's militant group threatens more attacks on foreign oil companies

Dec 04, 2006 01:00 AM

The Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a militant group in southern Nigeria, threatened more attacks on foreign oil companies.
In an e-mail to media, Jomo Gbomo, a self-described spokesman for the MEND, claimed responsibility for the attack on an Italian oil giant, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), in which three Italian and one Lebanese oil workers were taken hostage off the coast of Brass in Bayelsa state, south Nigeria.

Gbomo identified the Italians as Francesco Arena, Cosma Russa and Roberto Dieghi and the Lebanese as Saliba Imad.
"After our first major attack early in 2006, we issued a list of demands to be met by the Nigerian government in order that we suspend our armed campaign against the Nigerian oil industry," Gbomo said.

The MEND spokesman demanded release of Bayelsa state Governor Diepreye Alamieseigha and separatist leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and payment of compensation by Shell to communities affected by its spillages and resource control for the Niger Delta.
"The time for warnings is over," Gbomo warned, adding that "any persons having dealings with oil companies in the delta stand a good chance of being a victim in our attacks."

He further threatened that the militant fighters would in the near future target on oil company's vehicles with roadside bombs, offices and wherever they may find in the delta.
"We will show little mercy to all oil workers, including Nigerians who fail to heed our persistent warnings to halt all activity on our land," he said.

Since the beginning of this year, militant groups in the Niger Delta have constantly attacked oil facilities and taken oil workers as hostages.
Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer and the sixth largest oil exporter in the world, has a daily crude oil output of 2.6 mm barrels.

Source: Xinhua
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