Nigeria’s main rebel group said on Monday it sabotaged a loading dock for oil tankers in Lagos state, the first in the area since the group began its latest campaign of violence against Africa’s biggest oil producer.

The attack comes as the government prepares to release Henry Okah, the suspected leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), after more than a year in detention for suspected arms dealing.

MEND said its fighters set loading tankers and the depot ablaze overnight at the Atlas Cove Jetty in Lagos, a key port where vessels offload gasoline, diesel and other fuel products from refineries in the southeast.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the attack. Officials from Lagos police and the state-run oil firm NNPC said authorities were investigating.

MEND has rarely attacked sites outside the Niger Delta, focusing mainly on oil facilities in the Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states in southern Nigeria.

The militant group has claimed a series of attacks against the oil industry following the military’s largest offensive in the Niger Delta for years in late May.

The violence has forced Royal Dutch Shell, U.S. oil company Chevron and Italy’s Agip to shut down around 300,000 barrels per day of production in the last seven weeks, lifting global oil prices.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: