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Nigerian Troops Deploy to Tense Oil Region

The Nigerian army has deployed hundreds of troops to the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, where tensions are rising over the possible impeachment of the governor.

Witnesses in the state capital, Yenagoa, say the soldiers arrived Monday and set up checkpoints where they are searching pedestrians and vehicles.

Brigadier General Elias Zamani said the troops were sent in to prevent clashes between rival armed groups - some which support Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, others which demand his removal from office.

The governor was arrested in Britain in September on money-laundering charges involving millions of dollars. He jumped bail this month and returned to Nigeria, where he is immune from prosecution while in office.

State lawmakers are attempting to impeach him.

The governor has accused Nigeria's federal government of persecuting him because of his ethnic Ijaw origin.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.