Nigerian oil delta rebels threaten more attacks

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LAGOS, Sep 23 (Reuters) A powerful Nigerian armed group threatened to resume attacks on oil facilities and kidnapping of foreigners, it said in an e-mail to the media today, ending a four-month ceasefire.

The threat to disrupt Africa's top oil producer follows the arrest of a factional leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, in Angola on arms trafficking charges on September. 3.

''With effect from 12 midnight today, Sunday September. 23, 2007, we will commence attacks on installations and abduction of expatriates,'' the group said in an e-mailed statement.

Okah's MEND staged a string of bombings of Western oil facilities and abductions of foreign workers in the southern oil region from late 2005 to May this year, when it called a truce to allow for talks with the new government of President Umaru Yar'Adua.

Dozens of troops, militants and civilians have been killed in the vast wetlands region of southern Nigeria since last year and oil output from the world's eighth largest exporter is still down by a fifth.

REUTERS AK PM0116

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