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LATEST: HOW MILITANTS ATTACKED SECURITY MEN, BOMBED PIPELINE

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Suspected militants on Tuesday bombed a state-run oil pipeline near the 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 guards deployed to protect the Trans Forcados line were forced to flee 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… 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, operated by the state-owned Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), has previously been 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 plaguing the region.

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

The militants say they are seeking a fair share of the nation’s oil wealth for local residents as well as political autonomy for the region.

Shell officials were not immediately available for comment.

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