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Page added on June 29, 2009

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Off-shore platform burning after explosion

Lagos – Nigerian rebels on Monday announced a new raid against a Shell oil facility and said they had killed at least 20 soldiers in a gun battle, a claim denied by the security forces.

While a Shell spokesperson confirmed the raid and said it had caused a loss of production, a spokesperson for Nigeria’s combined police and army joint task force (JTF) denied there had been any clash with the rebels.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants said the Shell Forcados off-shore platform in Delta state was burning “after a massive explosion” following their 2.30am (03h30 GMT) raid.

The MEND statement also said they had sunk a gunboat with between 20 and 23 soldiers on board.

“We have made it clear that patrols must not open fire at us as our target is the oil infrastructure,” said the statement.

“This unheeded warning resulted in the death of these soldiers.”

IOL



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