Friday, March 18, 2011

Nigeria army names suspect in oil explosion

LAGOS, Nigeria

An army spokesman says after investigations into explosions at an oil well head this week they have identified a prime suspect.

Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha told The Associated Press Thursday that a man known as Cmdr. Gen. Plasma is likely responsible for Tuesday's attack on an oil facility in Bayelsa state. Antigha said Plasma recently threatened to disrupt the oil company's operation.

The call casts doubt on a claim of responsibility by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the main militant group in the oil-rich region. Antigha said the attack "does not bear the signature" of the group, and that an e-mail attributed to the group was "just being opportunistic."

Militants in the restive region have attacked pipelines, kidnapped petroleum company employees and fought government troops since 2006.

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