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Fifteen killed in gang clash in Nigeria oil delta

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (Reuters) – Gun battles between rival gangs in Nigeria’s southern oil-producing state of Rivers erupted on Tuesday in violence linked to a change of governor, killing 15 people, local rights activists said.

Gang fighting is just one facet of an 18-month upsurge in violence in the anarchic delta that President Umaru Yar’Adua pledged in his inaugural speech on Tuesday he would tackle urgently.

Yar’Adua will face an uphill battle. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, a rebel group responsible for attacks on the oil industry that have cut output by a quarter, immediately dismissed his pledge as not enough to stop violence.

“We will not suspend our attacks until we get more than words … He should have given something in exchange such as the release of Niger Delta hostages in Nigerian government hands,” the group’s spokesman said in an email to Reuters.


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