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Protesters End Six-Day Siege at Oil Facilities in Niger Delta


Nigerian villagers have ended a six-day siege at oil pumping stations in the Niger Delta, but warn that they will be back if their demands for jobs and supplies are not met.

Community leaders say they will give Royal Dutch Shell oil and U.S.-based Chevron three weeks to meet their demands.

Angry villagers began their siege last Wednesday, October 25 , shutting down production at three facilities owned by Shell and one owned by Chevron.

Oil officials confirmed the siege has ended.

In a separate dispute between oil unions and an Italian oil firm, Agip, Nigerian workers have threatened to shut down the company's oil fields there if it does not pay workers a security premium.

Workers say the extra pay will compensate them for risk on the job.

Attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta have become common as militants press a campaign for the region's people to get a greater share of the oil wealth.

Protesters complain that only rich companies and the government reap benefits from oil production.

The attacks have cut Nigerian oil output by as much as 25 percent at times this year. The country is Africa's biggest oil producer, with the capacity to pump over two million barrels per day.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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