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Militants blamed in deaths of 8 men in southern Nigeria

May 6, 2013 at 12:37 PM

YENAGOA, Nigeria, May 6 (UPI) -- Armed men believed to be renegade militants are suspected in the deaths of eight people in a small community in southern Nigeria, officials said.

Among the dead were five men who had been pardoned for past militant activity under a government amnesty program, The Guardian newspaper in Nigeria reported Sunday.

The men were killed Saturday night after being lured to a creek in the village of Lorbia in the southern coastal state of Bayelsa, officials said.

Accounts differed on the reason for the killings.

One report said the deaths occurred in a gunbattle between armed gangs. Another said mercenaries hired by a militant group were responsible.

Local residents said the suspects were believed to be involved in the recent killings of 12 police officers.

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