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Nigerian soldiers burn slum houses after kidnap

Written by: Staff
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PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, Aug 25 (Reuters) Nigerian soldiers burned hundreds of slum houses located close to the compound of an Italian oil company where at least one Italian worker was kidnapped and his bodyguard killed overnight.

Residents said the soldiers stormed the waterside settlement around the compound of Saipem, a unit of Italian oil giant ENI , poured petrol over the houses and set fire to them.

''I am surprised our own soldiers could do this to us,'' said one resident, who gave his name only as James.

''They came here, poured petrol and set fire to our property and houses to kill us. What offence have we committed?'' Families returned to the area today morning, picking over the charred remains of their houses to recover personal items, but were chased away by soldiers brandishing bottles and throwing stones.

REUTERS KR VV1504

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