Nigerian authorities say troops killed 12 men who were stealing oil from a crude oil pipeline in the southern state of Delta.
The incident happened Saturday near the Oghara community. Officials said soldiers on patrol spotted a group of 20 suspected thieves in the vicinity of a pipeline owned by the Pan Ocean Oil Corporation.
A gun battle ensued. Twelve of the suspects were killed, three were injured and the remaining five were arrested. The men had siphoning equipment and four tank trucks when they were spotted.
Armed groups frequently steal from Nigeria's vast network of oil and fuel pipelines, a process known locally as bunkering.