Deaths in Niger delta violence

Rebel groups launch a series of attacks in Port Harcourt after peace talks collapse.

    Armed groups want a greater share of oil revenues from the Niger Delta [File: EPA]

    Seven civilians also died in the crossfire near the Borokiri police station, and a security guard was killed at the Presidential Hotel when armed men opened fire on the lobby, Felix Ogbaudu, local police commissioner was quoted as saying by the state news agency.

    Oil violence

    Several other civilians were wounded in the attack on the hotel shortly after midnight, and the Skippers night club was also targeted.

    A prominent militia leader in Port Harcourt, Ateke Tom, had been expected to stage a counter-attack in the city after troops bombed his suspected hideouts in the creeks around the city last weekend.

    Authorities have not provided details on casualties from those raids, but local media have reported that several people were killed.

    Violence has driven thousands of foreign oil workers from the Niger delta since armed groups launched a new wave of attacks two years ago.

    They have cut oil exports by a fifth and chased away new investment from Africa's biggest oil and gas reserves.

    Peace talks

    There was a lull for about four months after the inauguration of President Umaru Yar'Adua in May, when the new government began tentative peace talks.

    However rebel groups pulled out and resumed attacks after the arrest of one of their leaders in September.

    Several armed groups in the delta demand greater local access to oil revenues, an end to what they see as neglect of their impoverished communities, compensation from oil companies for pollution, and greater political autonomy.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?