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Militants and Soldiers Killed During Battle at Nigerian Oil Facility

Several people have been killed in a gunbattle in Nigeria between government soldiers and heavily armed militants who attacked an oil pumping station.

Brigadier General Elias Zamani said some of his men and some of the attackers were killed in the shootout, which began Sunday morning at a Royal Dutch Shell facility at Benisede in the Niger delta. Shell said some of its workers had been injured.

According to Shell, the attackers arrived in speedboats, burned down staff living quarters, damaged the facility and left.

On Wednesday, attackers bombed a pipeline near Benisede and kidnapped four foreign oil workers - an American, a Briton, a Bulgarian and a Honduran - from a nearby Shell platform. Negotiations are underway for their release.

Shell says it is evacuating its workers from Benisede because of the insecurity in the area.

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