The Nigerian army says suspected militants in speedboats attacked
troops guarding the country's main crude oil and liquified natural gas
export terminal. The attack was the first since armed groups announced
a cease-fire last month. Gilbert da Costa has more from Abuja for VOA.
Island, in the southern Niger Delta, is home to a liquified natural gas
terminal whose exports account for 10 percent of world supply and to
Nigeria's biggest crude-oil export facility.
This makes the heavily-guarded facility a prime target for militants out to sabotage the oil industry.
army says it recovered weapons and ammunition from the gunmen who had
come in six boats to attack navy vessels and military personnel
patrolling the export facility.
The attack was the first major
strike by militants in the restive oil-rich region since the country's
most prominent armed group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the
Niger Delta, declared a ceasefire last month.
Daniel Ebahor, of
the non-governmental group Niger Delta Peace Foundation, says the
government's inability to take full advantage of the truce is
responsible for the resurgence of violence.
"I do not know what
the government is doing. Government is not helping matters about the
Niger Delta issue and there is no clear picture of the government's
ability to restore peace in the region," he said.
There has been
violent unrest in the Niger Delta region, where militants have
kidnapped more than 250 local and foreign workers and damaged several
oil and gas pipelines and other facilities.
Armed groups in the region are calling for a more equitable distribution of the country's oil wealth.
Nigeria is the world's eighth-largest oil exporter, but militant raids have cut shipments by a fifth.