Nigeria's Mend plans to repeat bombings

2011-09-29 13:09

Johannesburg - A Nigerian militia group has pledged to repeat an attack it carried out last year which left 12 people dead during the country's independence day celebrations, a newspaper report on Thursday.

The Nigerian Tribune said it received an email from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) in which the group promised to again bomb Eagle Square in the capital Abuja on Saturday.

The group - which has in recent years kidnapped foreign oil workers and fought the army - said it would not issue another warning to the public and urged citizens to stay away from the area.

Officially, however, there are no planned celebrations set to take place this weekend on the square.

Last year, the group issued a warning just hours prior to exploding two cars laden with bombs within the vicinity of the square.

This October 01 will mark 51 years since the end of British rule in Nigeria.

Mend says it is fighting for the impoverished people of the resource-rich Niger Delta against exploitation by oil companies and the government. Opponents of the militant group say it has become a front for gangs.

This year Mend has largely held back from attacks, but Nigeria still faces regular acts of terrorism, largely perpetrated by Boko Haram, a radical Islamist sect believed to have been behind the August bombing at the UN in Abuja which killed 23 people.