Militants Hit Shell Again, Destroy Another Pipeline

  • Friday, September 19, 2008 - By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
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Less than 24 hours after the visit of top Defence Chiefs, led by Air Marshal Paul Dike, to military installations in Rivers state, MEND has allegedly bombed and destroyed a major pipeline at the Eleme-Kalabari Cawthorne Channel axis, belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.

The group also stated that it has released two South African hostages earlier kidnapped by people the group called sea pirates, unharmed.

According to MEND spokesman, Jomo Gbomo: “At 18:30hrs today, September 18, 2008, fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), using explosives destroyed a major pipeline belonging to Shell Development Company at the Eleme-Kalabari Cawthorne Channel axis in Rivers State of Nigeria.”

MEND further claimed that, “a gunboat patrol that happened to bump into the MEND fighters begged for their lives and showed their magazines to prove that they had not fired from their guns. They were spared and allowed to go, but not until after they had pledged loyalty to the struggle and denounced the criminality of the oil companies and the government.”

MEND accused Nigerian security agencies of lying that they had earlier secured the release of the South Africans abducted by sea pirates. The group stated that it “can categorically confirm that the two South African hostages rescued by MEND from sea pirates have been released unharmed today, September 18, 2008. The duo were handed over to government’s secret service officials, who will in turn hand them over to representatives of the South African High Commission in Port Harcourt, Rivers State of Nigeria.

“This genuine release puts to rest speculations and anxiety of the families and the people of South Africa caused by the false statement from the obtuse spokesman of the military Joint Task “Fraud” (JTF).

“In this case, the Army had hoped to cash in on a deliberate misinformation we put out and take the credit for a role they had no part in.” MEND, in two e-mails sent to P.M.News in Port Harcourt, stated that: “We have been wondering how foolish he must have looked when they could not produce the hostages they said were released without any ransom payment.”

The rebel group said the release of the South African hostages exposes the claims by the Army that it secured the release as untrue. “Nigerians and the world can now see that we have a military of deceit that have lied about their combat losses and gains, role in extra-judicial killings, rape, genocide and oil theft.”

As at press time P.M.News was not able to get an official reaction from the Joint Task Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, as calls to his mobile lines did not go through.

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