Archive for Sunday, August 31, 2008

Militants: 29 military personnel killed

August 31, 2008

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— Nigeria's main militant group claimed Saturday that it killed at least 29 military personnel in three separate attacks across the restive southern oil region.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said in an e-mail statement that the near-simultaneous battles came in the three main oil producing states of southern Nigeria, leaving 29 dead and others unaccounted for after they jumped from their military boats.

The group reported that six of its own fighters were also killed in the clashes, which they say they launched as reprisals for attacks they allege the military carried out on civilians.

Military officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

If confirmed, the death toll would be the highest ever in clashes between militants and the military unit charged with calming the southern area, from which crude is pumped in the country that is Africa's biggest oil producer.

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