News24

Mend claims attack on oil pipeline

2012-02-06 11:51

Abuja - Militants in southern Nigeria claimed to have blown up a pipeline belonging to the Agip Oil Company, and threatened more attacks.

The oil company has not confirmed the attack, which the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) said took place on Saturday. Agip is a subsidiary of Eni, an Italian multinational oil and gas company.

In a statement released late on Sunday, Mend warned: "This relatively insignificant attack is a reminder of our presence in the creeks of the Niger Delta and a sign of things to come."

The group also singled out the South African government, claiming that Pretoria was supporting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, and threatened to attack the country's business concerns in the West African nation.

Nigeria is dependent on oil for revenue and the country is the largest exporter in western Africa.

Mend claims its fight is for a fairer distribution of the country's oil wealth, and says it represents people of the oil-rich Niger Delta region, who see little profit from the natural resource.

One of the largest militant organisations in Africa's most-populous nation, Mend signed an amnesty deal in 2009. If confirmed, this would be the first such attack by the group in more than a year.