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Nigerian militants threaten new delta oil targets

Written by: Staff
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ABUJA, Mar 1 (Reuters) Militants whose campaign of sabotage has already crippled one fifth of Nigerian oil output from the west of the Niger Delta said today their next attack would be on a different area of the oil-producing region.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which released one of nine oil worker hostages today, said it had delayed its next attack to concentrate its resources on ''one huge crippling blow to the Nigerian oil industry.'' ''We will commence with attacks in another area of the Niger Delta with an aim to ensuring the total discontinuation of export of onshore crude oil,'' the militants said in a statement.

The militants reiterated demands for the release of two ethnic Ijaw leaders, pollution compensation for delta villages and more local control over the region's huge oil wealth.

They also repeated a warning to oil workers to leave the whole region.

Royal Dutch Shell has evacuated its staff from the western delta region, shutting 455,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Nigeria is still producing about 2 million bpd, mostly from the eastern delta. The other main producing companies are ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and Agip.

REUTERS DH RAI0040

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