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In pictures: Fighting for Nigeria's oil
Ransom

A recent report commissioned by the oil giant Shell compared the level of conflict in the region to Colombia and Chechnya.

Much of the fighting is caused by armed gangs of militant youths who roam the swamps and creeks.

Sometimes these youths kidnap oil workers and hold them to ransom for money.

But most of the time they are involved in the lucrative business of stealing crude oil from the pipelines.

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