- Nigeria's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has blown up two key oil pipelines in the region operated by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell and the Italian group Agip, MEND’s statement has claimed.
The MEND statement issued earlier today, claimed two major attacks on the pipelines in a pre-dawn attack in Bayelsa on the verge to disrupt the nation's main industry. "The plague of sabotage descended heavily on major Shell and Agip crude trunk lines in Bayelsa state," the MEND said in a statement.
MEND has intensified its offensive of on all the oil installations in the oil rich Niger Delta since May, when Nigerian forces raided their bases, claimed to have also killed civilians in the Delta region.
The latest attack comes barely two weeks after Nigerian President Umaru Yar’ Adua extended an amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta who are willing to lay down their arms and cease attacks and hostilities in the Delta.
However, analysts have argued that amnesty offer would not solve the Delta rebellion until all the Niger Delta people grievances are addressed by the Federal Government.
The militants have warned oil companies and foreign interests to leave the region threatening more attacks.
Armed attacks and kidnappings and hijackings of vessels in the Niger Delta, which is home to Nigeria's oil industry, have cut the African nation's exports more than 20 percent since 2006.
According to official reports a number of militant groups in the region claiming to be fighting for a fairer share of the region's oil wealth, for local people, have resorted to abductions and are out to make money through ransom demands.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the main armed group in the region, says it's fighting for the region's poor and has distanced itself from armed groups engaged in kidnappings for ransom.
Nigeria relies on oil for more than 90 percent of its export earnings.
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