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Niger Delta Militancy: Military Gives Notice Of Raids

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San Francisco, Nov 13, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian military has said it will carry out raids targeting creek-camps of militants in the Niger Delta region and warned residents to flee vicinity.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin gave the warning today in statement following renewed kidnappings and attacks on oil installations in the region.

"We have observed with concern some criminal acts within the past few days by some people claiming to be militants ... Many of these criminals are known to be hiding in camps within the creeks of the Niger Delta.

"These camps will no longer be tolerated. To avoid any collateral damage, we are seizing this opportunity to instruct all law-abiding citizens who live around the vicinity of these camps to leave immediately," the CDS said in the statement.

The activities of criminal gangs operating in the region over the last few days resulted in the kidnap of seven foreign oil personnel working on an Afren oilrig including two Americans, two Frenchmen, two Indonesians and one Canadian, in Akwa Ibom State. Militant group, the Movement of the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND), has claimed responsibility for the attack and said the workers would be held for a while in a statement.

On Thursday night, the Opokuma, Bayelsa home of President Goodluck Jonathan’s adviser on the Niger Delta and coordinator of the amnesty programme, Mr. Timi Alaibe, was bombed with explosives.

The military taskforce in the Niger Delta (JTF) said it raided a camp on Friday in Bayelsa State, President Goodluck Jonathan’s home state, where weapons and maps of oil installations were seized.