Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nigeria: Militants Threatens Fresh Attacks On Oil Installations

Wisdom Patrick And Olaolu Oladipo With Agency Report

Lagos — The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) yesterday threatened fresh attack on key oil installations. The group said the renewed onslaught was in protest over the recent arrest of some of its members in the Delta creeks.

A release from the group made available to LEADERSHIP in Lagos yesterday, quoted spokesman of the group, Jomo Gbomo, saying "MEND will attack fuel depots, oil wells and flow-stations and vehicles transporting petroleum products in and out of the Delta region of Nigeria. This is in retaliation to recent killing and arrest of our members."

Some members of group were arrested on Monday by operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to the Niger Delta region to curb the restiveness in the area.

The group in the statement alleged that seven of its members were arrested at Otakpe creek, near Bonny Island by a detachment of men of the JTF for convening an unauthorized meeting and setting up militant camps.

According to the statement, MEND warned those who live close to oil installations, such as depots bearing products such as diesel, kerosene, petrol, propane gas and engine oil to steer clear of such facilities to avert being casualties in the impeding attacks.

"Advance warning for immediate evacuation is hereby issued to residents in close proximity to depots storing petroleum products such as aviation fuel, diesel, kerosene, petrol, propane gas and engine oil," the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an emailed statement.

Jomo Gbomo in the statement warned of a "ferocious attack on the downstream oil sector", if its members are not released by the Nigerian authorities.

MEND claimed responsibility for car bombings in the capital Abuja on Oct. 1, last year, but the group is divided, with many of its known commanders having accepted a 2009 government amnesty brokered by President Goodluck Jonathan.

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