Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Nigerian militants seize oil boat

Oil militant
Militant attacks in the Niger Delta have significantly reduced production

Gunmen in Nigeria's Delta region have seized an oil vessel and kidnapped its crew, an army spokesman has said.

Lt Col Rabe Abubakar said the vessel was from Singapore and was carrying equipment for oil company Chevron.

He said it appeared to have been taken by militants working with 22 Filipinos arrested on Saturday, in an effort to secure their release.

The Filipinos were detained on the MT Akuada, which was suspected of carrying stolen oil.

The ship had more than 12,000 metric tonnes of oil on board.

In a separate incident, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell said that six Nigerian workers had died in a pipeline explosion in Delta State late last week.

Militants operating in Nigeria's oil-rich Delta region have caused severe disruption by attacking gas plants, oil installations and pipelines.

They claim to be fighting for greater control over oil wealth in the impoverished region.

But opponents say the militants make money from criminal rackets and trade in stolen oil.

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