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Attackers Target Nigerian Port Official in Deadly Blast


Nigerian police say one person has been killed when an explosion struck the car of a top port official in the country's chaotic oil region.

The attack happened late Monday in the city of Port Harcourt as the convoy of regional port director Sotoye Itomi passed by.

Investigators say Itomi had been dropped off just just before an explosive device went off, killing the driver. At least one policeman was injured.

Police are investigating who carried out the attack.

The region's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, recently threatened attacks on government vehicles, checkpoints, and the country's oil industry.

The group claimed responsibility for an attack Friday on an oil tanker in Port Harcourt.

MEND says it wants more of the region's oil wealth to go to impoverished local residents.

The militants began a violent campaign in late 2005, attacking oil facilities and kidnapping oil workers. Criminal gangs have also attacked oil industry targets, seeking payment from the government or oil companies.

Nigeria still produces more than two million barrels of oil per day but the violence has reduced the country's output by about 20 percent over the past two years.

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

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