ExxonMobil moves families from Nigeria oil complex

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LAGOS, Nov 13 (Reuters) US energy company ExxonMobil evacuated the families of staff from its main Nigerian oil export terminal today after an armed attack a day earlier, a spokeswoman said.

About 60 militants armed with machine guns engaged troops guarding the 400,000 barrel-per-day Qua Iboe terminal in a gunfight for several hours yesterday. The attackers blew up at least one police boat and seized two machine guns from the navy.

A pregnant woman was killed in the crossfire.

''After all that shooting yesterday, we have relocated dependents where they feel more comfortable for a short time,'' said ExxonMobil spokeswoman Gloria Essien.

''We are on essential services. Production was not impacted by the incident,'' she added.

It was the third attack on a major Nigerian oil facility since September, when the rebel Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta announced the end of a ceasefire over the arrest of its leader, Henry Okah, in Angola on arms dealing charges.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Qua Iboe attack.

REUTERS SKB HS1933

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