A murky weekend in Nigeria’s Niger Delta

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19 people were killed this weekend in the Niger Delta when pipelines exploded in the first incidence followed by a violent rebel attack on a community.

In the incidence involving the pipeline explosion, six employees of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) were burnt to death as they tried to repair a leaking crude oil pipe.

The company spokesman confirmed that a fire broke out in the course of ongoing work by an SPDC contractor who was repairing a leak on the line. ‘The SPDC is saddened that six people working for the contractor died in the unfortunate incident.

“We are very sad at the incident and loss of lives and have launched a full scale investigation. SPDC fire-fighters have extinguished the fire. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased who lost their loved ones,” he said.

The Niger Delta weekend tragedy continued when 13 persons were killed following a violent attack on Sangana community on the fringe of Atlantic Ocean in Bayelsa State by gunmen.

The immediate cause of the Bayelsa State gun attacks could not be ascertained but informed sources said 11 bodies had been recovered from the creeks while a search for the remaining two was still on as at the time the information was revealed to the press.

According to reports, the violent attack on Sangana occurred during a burial ceremony and has heightened tension in communities on the Atlantic fringe.

It was reported that the slain youths were on a routine patrol of the river as done during such ceremonies when suspected militants, believed to have come from one of the camps on the Atlantic fringe of Southern Ijaw, opened fire on them.

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