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MEND claims another sabotage of Shell wellhead

DESPITE President Umaru   Musa Yar’Adua’s offer of amnesty to militants,  Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger- Delta at the weekend said it had blown up a wellhead in a Shell oil field in Delta State, citing provocation from the Joint Task Force (JTF).

MEND accused the military of going on a “punitive expedition” to hunt down suspected militants in the Agbeti community of Delta State after Yar’Adua’s amnesty proclamation. “In response, (operation), Piper Alpha continued its rampage on the Nigerian oil industry by blowing up the second remaining wellhead of the Shell Afremo offshore oil fields in Delta State,” MEND said in a statement e-mailed to the media.

Vanguard could neither confirm the attack nor the military offensive.Afremo was one of the sites MEND also claimed to have attacked in a triple raid on Sunday. It described the field as being 14 miles from an export terminal through which crude oil from Shell’s Forcados fields is pumped.

Afremo is located in the mangrove creeks, where pipelines and equipment run across broad stretches of swamp water.
Shell has said it is checking its operations for damage from Sunday’s attacks.

MEND’s latest campaign of sabotage, which began just over a month ago and which it has dubbed “Hurricane Piper Alpha”, has already forced at least 133,000 barrels per day of production to be shut down.


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