Nigeria: Oil War in the Delta


January 5, 2006: The army and police have increased patrols of the oil pipelines, and have apparently cut the amount of oil stolen by about 80 percent (to 20,000 barrels a day). Some of the oil thieves have been fighting back at the army and police patrols. But the military has reinforcements on call, and the oil gangs have not yet been able to defeat the troops. The loss in income has apparently caused some of the oil thieves to deliberately sabotage oil operations, usually by using explosives to destroy a section of pipeline.

December 31, 2005: Soldiers on patrol caught twenty men tapping into a pipeline. Rather than flee, as is the usual custom with oil thieves, this bunch decided to shoot it out with the soldiers. Twelve of the thieves were shot dead, three wounded and five arrested. The police have also made arrests in the case of recent pipeline fires.


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