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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Nigerian youths seize oil station
Militant in Niger Delta
Some communities seek compensation via armed action
Young men armed with Kalashnikovs have seized one of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell's flow stations in the Niger Delta region, Nigerian police say.

Sixty workers were kidnapped when the crude oil pumping installation near Nun River in Bayelsa state was stormed.

Security sources said it was because of a local dispute between the oil company and a nearby local community, rather than any broader militant action.

Fuelled by poverty and anger, violence erupts easily in the weapon-rife area.

The oil company's Lagos office said the flow station had been shut as a result of the incident.

It also said there were no casualities but the state government had sent officials to negotiate with the attackers.

The BBC's reporter in Lagos, Alex Last, says the oil companies regularly sign memorandums of understanding with local communities, offering money, contracts or services to appease local deep-seated anger at the exploitation of their land by the oil industry.

Despite the government receiving billions of dollars in oil revenues, it has failed to provide basic services in the communities where the oil is produced.

Many communities feel that the best way to get swift compensation is to get an armed group to attack an oil installation, our correspondent says.

Last month, President Olusegun Obasanjo promised strong action to curb armed groups in the Niger Delta.


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