- Title: NIGERIA: Nigerian militants vow to continue attacks on oil installations
- Date: 21st September 2008
- Summary: (W3) PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA (FILE) (REUTERS) SOLDIERS CONDUCTING SEARCH FOR REBELS TANK MANOUVERING
- Embargoed: 6th October 2008 13:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Energy
- Reuters ID: LVA55ZAH6Z0U6JAML7A8CYH842CY
- Story Text: A Nigerian militant group involved in deadly battles with government forces says its members have been left with no option but to attack oil installations.
Nigerian militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), said on Thursday (September 18) that they were forced to continue their fight against government forces as they attempt to continue disrupting oil production in the African country.
Heavily armed MEND militants were singing and dancing as one of the group's leaders Ateke Tom said the group were intimitated by Lagos and were forced to fight.
"They just said they must kill me and my boys. So that is the problem, we are asking what caused the problem. No one good answer. Now we have decided we must fight back. And after all we were still relaxing, until we knew well the JTF (Joint Task Force) will look for us in the creeks. They start killing our boys and we go after them too," he said.
"I promised them, that I must revenge when they attacked my boys and these people. But there were some elders, they were talking to me that I should not take care of the matter. But by the time they went and attacked my brother again, he is Farah. They went and attacked him. The shot at him, killing some of his boys. I said no. I can't just sit down and look, we must fight. And I go after them in Alakiri, to kill many of them, then I burned down the place. After, then I go to Oloibiri again, because I know they are there. I jam them, kill them, take over their house boats, burn down the house boats and I shut down the fuel station," he added.
MEND has fought a war against oil installations in Nigeria since 2006 and claims it wants to localise the control of the country's oil production and exports, much of which is currently controlled by large international oil companies.
Kidnappings and shootings are a common occurrence in the region but Tom tried to distance himself from some violence.
"I condemn it because that is not part of the struggle. It is not a struggle at all. These are criminals, they are not people like us," he said.
MEND said on Saturday (September 20) it had destroyed another major oil pipeline in the eastern Niger Delta, the latest in a week of attacks that has cut output from Africa's top oil producer.
Nigeria's oil output has fallen by 150,000 barrels per day because of the recent unrest.
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