Posted by AFP on
Riot police were deployed Sunday to quell communal clashes that have claimed several lives in southern Nigeria's restive oil-rich Ogoniland.
LAGOS (AFP) - Riot police were deployed Sunday to quell communal clashes that have claimed several lives in southern Nigeria's restive oil-rich Ogoniland.
"We have sent anti-riot policemen to contain the violence in Bodo and Mogho in Rivers State where several people have been killed in the past four days and dozens of houses and vehicles destroyed," the police superintendent, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
He said fighting between the two Ogoni communities erupted on Thursday and continued until Saturday before riot police were called in to restore order.
He said investigations were continuing to find the cause of the fighting between the two neighbouring communities in the Gokana local government district of the state.
Local press reports said at least 10 people were killed while more than 200 houses were razed.
Disputes over ownership of land are common among Nigeria's communities.
Last month, at least two people were killed in communal clashes in the same Ogoni area.
Oil-rich Ogoniland is a hotbed of civil unrest in the restive Niger Delta, home to Nigeria's multi-billion-dollar oil and gas resources.
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, which is Nigeria's leading producer was forced to quit Ogoniland in 1993 because of community unrest.
Residents of Ogoni communities accuse foreign oil companies, especially Shell, of destroying their ecosystem without paying adequate compensation.
Ogoni environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight of his companion activists, were executed in November 1995 after they were convicted of killing four Ogoni chieftains, who allegedly did not support their campaign.