April 29, 2006

Nigeria militants claim car bomb in oil delta

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian militants said on Saturday they
had detonated a car bomb close to a refinery in the southern
city of Warri, in the oil-producing Niger Delta.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
(MEND), whose attacks on the oil industry have cut Nigerian
exports by a quarter, said in an email sent to journalists they
had detonated the bomb amid petroleum product bridging tankers.

"Our operatives in Delta state in the Niger Delta planted
and detonated one car bomb amidst petroleum product bridging
tankers located close to the refinery in Warri," MEND said.

It was not immediately possible to obtain confirmation of
the attack from authorities. The militants have provided
accurate information on their attacks in the past.

In a later email, MEND said it used a mobile phone to
detonate 30 kg (66 pounds) of dynamite in the attack.

The group said it was similar to a car bomb attack it
carried out on April 20 in Port Harcourt, another major city in
the Niger Delta. That bomb, planted close to an army barracks,
killed two people.

MEND gave no details of any casualties or damage caused by
Saturday's attack, which it said was a warning to all people
working in Nigeria's oil industry, particularly the Chinese.

Chinese President Hu Jintao earlier this week signed oil
deals with Nigeria during a state visit.

"We wish to warn the Chinese government and its oil
companies to steer well clear of the Niger Delta. Chinese
citizens found in oil installations will be treated as thieves.
The Chinese government, by investing in stolen, crude places
its citizens in our line of fire," MEND said.