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» 22.04.2010 - Concern over Nigeria's 870 death row inmates
» 06.04.2010 - Nigerian militias sentenced in Equatorial Guinea
» 09.03.2010 - Demands for Nigeria to stop massacres
» 02.02.2010 - UK to return £43 million stolen funds
» 02.02.2010 - Nigeria names panel to probe religious killings
» 27.01.2010 - Nigeria seizes fake drugs
» 21.01.2010 - UN chief calls for restoration of peace in Nigeria
» 20.01.2010 - Nigerian religious clashes’ death toll up

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Society | Politics | Human rights

MEND threatens to end ceasefire after killing of gang leader

afrol News, 14 January - Nigeria's main militant, Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta has threatened to call off ceasefire in the Niger Delta after one of the gang leaders Tubotamuno Angolia was allegedly killed by soldiers on Tuesday.

An emailed statement from MEND said Angolia was shot while trying to escape after he was surrounded by the troops. Although mend denied having any links with Mr Angolia, it strongly denounced his brutal assassination.

"Killing of Mr Angolia is not acceptable. We would target every soldier in reprisal. Our first spectacular urban attack on a military patrol will announce the end of the ceasefire," MEND said in a statement.

MEND declared a ceasefire on 21 September last year following a week of attacks on the oil industry targets after launching an oil war it said was a response to an attack by the Nigerian army on its positions. It warned then that it would end the ceasefire if attacked again.

A military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, said Mr Angolia, who was on the military Joint Task Force's "most wanted list", tried to escape.

"As a result, he was fired at and sustained a bullet wound which resulted in his death," military spokesman Lt Col Sagir Musa said.

Many armed groups operate in the Niger Delta, with some claiming to be fighting for a bigger share in the oil wealth for people of the Niger Delta, but others resort to illegal measures of kidnapping and oil theft to enrich themselves.

Oil production in the Delta has been cut by about a fifth because of violence in recent years.

The threat for renewed attack and violence in the River State has increased pressure on Umaru Yar'Adua, Nigeria's president, to show his commitment in fulfilling campaign pledges made in 2007 to focus on ending the conflict.

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