Nigerian rebels claim pipeline attack in oil region

Warri - Niger delta militants on Friday claimed an attack on a pipeline in Nigeria's restive south, the latest strikes on key national infrastructure that has cut output and hit public finances.

"At about 21:00 on Thursday... the Akuma Strike team of the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) brought down the Iwhremaro Quality Control Centre (QCC) delivery line," the group said in a statement.

The NDGJM which has claimed previous attacks in the region, warned oil majors against repairing sabotaged facilities in the Niger delta.

"We serve this as a notice to the Nigerian government and its conniving multinationals that the Operation Hammurabi Code has been initiated, henceforth, it shall be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," it said.

A senior security officer who did not want to be identified, confirmed the attack on the pipeline in Ughelli area of Delta state.

"Yes, my men from the field confirmed the attack. I can't categorically give details if dynamite was used on the line as investigations are still very fresh," the officer told AFP.

The NDGJM has stepped up its attacks after rival group the Niger Delta Avengers declared a ceasefire in August and entered talks with the Nigerian government.

Last month, the group attacked a pipeline operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the area.

Since the start of the year, several militant groups have renewed their attacks on the nation's key oil infrastructure.

The attacks have targeted oil majors like Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Eni and the the NNPC, slashing Nigeria's oil output and hammering revenue at a time of falling crude prices.

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