- Nigeria's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has claimed to have blown up yet another major pipeline in the early hours this morning.
The pipeline said to be by the Italian oil company Agip, according to MEND, is situated in Bayelsa state, and feeds crude to the Brass export terminal.
MEND has also claimed to have blown up a government gunboat and disarmed seven soldiers.
The claims by MEND have however not been independently confirmed, and the Italian company has not issued any statement since the claims came up.
This is the third attack reported this week by MEND, which stepped up its attacks on the oil infrastructure since government went on an offensive against militants in the region.
Shell's major crude oil trunk line was also attacked on Wednesday in Bayelsa state, with MEND also claiming the responsibility. It also claimed to have attacked a Chevron oil station in the Niger Delta region on Monday.
The group has warned oil companies and foreign interests to leave the region threatening more attacks. On Monday, MEND also threatened to disrupt the junior FIFA under-17 World Cup to be hosted by Nigeria later this year.
"The safety of international players and visitors can not be guaranteed due to the current unrest," MEND had said in an e-mailed statement.
The group has declared war against the government following for it called unprovoked attacks on its territories.
Fresh violence in the Niger Delta has seen Nigeria slip back again as Africa’s top oil producer, with Angola reclaiming the spot once more. Nigeria has seen a cut of almost 40 percent of its oil production per day, since the violence took toll.
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