Nigeria: December 5, 2003


Tribe based criminal gangs continued to fight each other over control of smuggling and other lucrative rackets. At least fifty have died in battles involving Itsekiri and Ijaw tribesmen and police.    In one case, Itsekiri men in up to three dozen speedboats fired on a coastal Ijaw village, causing many casualties. Police helicopters raided an Itsekiri village suspected as the source of the attack, and Itsekiri and Ijaw gunmen shot it out in various locations. It's like Chicago in the 1920s, except here the liquid lubricating all the violence is oil, instead of alcohol.



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