- Nigeria's main militant group has claimed responsibility of sabotage at a Chevron oil flow station on Tuesday night in Niger Delta, saying this was in retaliation for last month’s offensive by the Nigeria’s armed forces in the oil rich region.
According to an e-mailed statement from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta today, the group has attacked an installation run by Chevron's local subsidiary and left the facility in flames.
“The flow station is currently engulfed in fire after being overwhelmed by our fighters," MEND said in the statement.
The Nigerian military began a sweeping offensive 15 May using helicopter gun-ships and machine-gun mounted patrol boats to root out several militant strongholds in the Delta, its most aggressive campaign in years.
MEND had issued several warnings to companies to pull out of the Niger Delta, threatening to sabotage all the oil installations in the region.
Late last month, MEND also ordered a blockade on key water channel for oil vessels in the Niger Delta to halt oil exports, also declaring war on government troops in the Delta.
The rebellion and violence in the delta has cut Nigeria's oil output by about a fifth since early 2006. A number of armed groups operate across the region, launching attacks on oil installations and pipelines, as well as abducting oil workers and local officials.
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