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Attacks hit one of Nigeria's main oil pipelines

Bombing of a Niger Delta pipelins follows the emergence of a new militant group.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Attacks hit one of Nigeria's main oil pipelines
Niger Delta Avengers took credit for the bombing of a pipeline it said was one of the main arteries in the region. Photo by vanhurck/Shutterstock

ABUJA, Nigeria, June 10 (UPI) -- Just days after a new militant group emerged, the entity calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers said it blew up one of the main oil pipelines in the region.

The Niger Delta Avengers has declared war on the national and international oil companies operating in the region, arguing the government in Abuja has put revenue interests above the interests of its people. In its latest official statement, the group said the people of the Niger Delta have been asking for basic necessities since crude oil was discovered in the region.

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"The history of the communal lives is terror of poverty, inhumanity and desolate living conditions," spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo said in a statement.

A report from the World Bank finds the job market in Nigeria is polarized as the vast majority of the population are trapped in low-productivity and traditional subsistence activities. Only a small portion of the workforce is benefiting from any economic growth in the country, the report found.

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By the World Bank's estimates, more than 70 percent of the government revenue comes from oil. In a statement this week, the government said it was working to ensure "the man on the street in the Niger Delta" is getting its due share of the benefits from natural resources there.

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This week, a group calling itself Ultimate Warriors of Niger Delta emerged and demanded a stake in the oil exploration areas in the Niger Delta. Unless the government hands over 60 percent of the oil blocks in the Niger Delta in the next two weeks, the new group said it would shut down the operations of Chevron and others working in the area.

In a statement, the Ultimate Warriors of the Niger Delta said it wanted indigenous control over oil infrastructure security in order to create more jobs for the people living in the region.

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