Nige­rian oil pipe­line bombed again in restive re­gion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

WARRI — Nige­rian mil­i­tants yes­ter­day bombed a state-run oil pipe­line near the south­ern port city of Warri, the sec­ond at­tack within a week, a com­mu­nity leader and army of­fi­cer said.

“The line which was un­der­go­ing re­pair af­ter the pre­vi­ous at­tack . . . was billed for com­mis­sion­ing ei­ther to­day or to­mor­row,” be­fore the lat­est at­tack, chair­man of Batan com­mu­nity Dick­son Ogugu said.

He said four sur­veil­lance guards de­ployed to pro­tect the Trans For­ca­dos ex­port line nar­rowly es­caped death af­ter the mil­i­tants opened fire on them.

“The hood­lums af­ter chas­ing them from the spot came down from their speed­boat, planted dy­na­mite on swamp boo­gie, barge, crane and on the line,” he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, only the dy­na­mite on the barge ex­ploded and im­me­di­ately sank into the water. As I speak to you, the mil­i­tary are at the scene of the in­ci­dent try­ing to dis­man­tle the other dy­na­mites.”

An army of­fi­cer, who did not want to be named, con­firmed the in­ci­dent.

“We heard the shots in the mid­dle of the night, but as you know, we do not pa­trol the area at night, so there was noth­ing we could do,” he said. The line has been pre­vi­ously tar­geted by rebels. Last week, the line was bombed just hours af­ter Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of mil­i­tant groups in the Niger delta to dis­cuss how to end the un­rest wrack­ing the re­gion.

The state-owned Pipe­lines and Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing Com­pany (PPMC) op­er­ates the pipe­line which re­ceives crude from the Batan flow­sta­tion and feeds the For­ca­dos ex­port ter­mi­nal.

Since the start of the year, sev­eral mil­i­tant groups have at­tacked oil fa­cil­i­ties, slash­ing the na­tion’s out­put and ham­mer­ing rev­enues.

The mil­i­tants claim to be seek­ing a fair share of the na­tion’s oil wealth for lo­cal res­i­dents as well as po­lit­i­cal au­ton­omy for the re­gion. — AFP

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