Defence ministry dismisses threats of war in Nigerian oil region

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The Oil War declared yesterday by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) has been played down by the Nigerian Defence Headquarters, reports claim.

Brigadier-General Mohammed Yusuf, the Director of Defence Information, in a report in Abuja said the military was not at war with any Nigerian or group.

However, it is reported that militants in about 10 speed boats yesterday attacked the Shell Alakiri flow station in Port Harcourt around 12.35 a.m. The attack lasted for over an hour. Explosives and bombs were particularly detonated by the militants and the attack was bravely and successfully repelled by the JTF troops on guard with heavy casualty on the rebel’s side as some of them might have lost their lives in the process.

Sources from the Defence ministry claim that only two soldiers were injured in last weekend’s combat between the militants and soldiers and that contrary to the claim by MEND, no soldier lost his life.

It is claimed that the oil war propaganda is just a device by the militants to generate panic and tension in the region.

The Brigadier general was quoted as saying that the Joint Task Force is in place for internal security operations to maintain law and order and to protect life and property in line with the mandate given to it. He also added that the problems in the Niger Delta are being solved through dialogue.

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