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Bloody day as militants kill 3 soldiers

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE, CHRIS AGUNWEZE, Bonny & FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa on 2006/06/08 | Views: 535 |

Bloody day as militants kill 3 soldiers


It was another bloody day in the Niger Delta Wednesday, as raging militants in the volatile region struck again, kidnapping six oil workers, including five South Koreans and a Nigerian in Cawthorne Channel located near Degema, Bonny and Akukutoru local government of Rivers State.

Bloody day as militants kill 3 soldiers
•Kidnap 6

It was another bloody day in the Niger Delta Wednesday, as raging militants in the volatile region struck again, kidnapping six oil workers, including five South Koreans and a Nigerian in Cawthorne Channel located near Degema, Bonny and Akukutoru local government of Rivers State.

Five military personnel were also said to have been killed in the raid, with two policemen wounded, although military authorities confirmed the death of only three of their men.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility for the attack, said to be in reaction to the Appeal Court’s decision on Tuesday denying bail to Niger Delta insurgents’ leader Mujahid Asari-Dokubo.

The militia in a statement, which promised fresh attacks, said they would release the hostages in exchange for the freedom of Asari-Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), who was arrested in September last year and is standing trial for treason.

Reports said the insurgents, armed with rocket launchers, seized an oil facility where the abducted oil workers, believed to be staff of Daewoo Engineering and Inverted Gas Corporation, two contracting firms of Shell, were working, and overpowered soldiers guarding the site.
MEND gave the names of the snatched Koreans as H.J. Kwon, A. Park, S.B. Kim, O.K Kim and H.D. Kimi.

It said in the statement that the hostages were in good health and promised that no harm would befall them “as long as the units holding these individuals do not come under attack.”
The militants admitted that one of them was killed in the battle, while two were wounded.

Army spokesman, Colonel Mohammed Yusuf said: “They killed three of our navy personnel. We are still trying to get the full picture of what really happened.”
MEND further warned Daewoo to close down its operations in the region, “as a second attack will only bring death.” It vowed to step up attacks and threatened to kill the employees of oil companies, which defied its warning to quit the Niger Delta.

"Oil service companies in the Niger Delta which have been clamouring for contracts on the repair of pipelines we previously destroyed should rethink this foolishness. Workers of such daring companies will be executed if caught at those sites," its statement said.
Meanwhile the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell said the Cawthorne Channel Gas Plant attacked by the armed group has been shut down pending assessment of any damage, resulting in the loss of some 70 million standard cubic feet per day of gas production.

In a statement, Shell said; "we will be taking all necessary steps to assist the Nigerian authorities and contractor companies in obtaining their safe release."

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has condemned the kidnapping. The state commissioner for Health, Dr Solomon Enyindah in a chat with newsmen after the state executive council meeting, described the act as “unacceptable to the government.”
“As a government, we think this is not proper and we would not fold our hands over this kind of unholy activity in Rivers State,” he added.

The government has therefore appealed to “all well-meaning Rivers people, community leaders, political office holders and civil servants” to assist it with information needed to forestall a recurrence, just as it assured that efforts were being made to locate the captives and their captors.
Palpable tension enveloped the South Korean company, Daewoo in Yenagoa following the news of the abduction of the employees. Security was beefed up in the office premises along the Mbiama/ Yenagoa Road as movement in and out of the company was heavily monitored.

Sources close to the outfit confided in Daily Sun that the Koreans working with them had gone into hiding immediately the news reached the Bayelsa State capital.

Ever since it began its violent campaign against the oil industry, MEND has been calling for Asari-Dokubo to be freed. It is also demanding the freeing of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of Bayelsa, who is being tried for corruption and money laundering.

The oil-rich region has since the beginning of the year been a theatre of violence against foreign oil companies and their employees, launched by armed separatists and local communities demanding a larger share in oil revenues and compensation for the destruction of their ecosystem by oil exploration.
Apart from the five South Koreans, 16 expatriates working for oil firms have been kidnapped since January. All have been released unharmed. The violence has claimed the lives of two Nigerian workers and at least 25 soldiers and policemen so far this year.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown