Abuja: A statement purportedly by militant group MEND has claimed an attack on security forces in Nigeria`s oil-rich southern region, killing at least 15 police officers.
The claim came on Sunday, a day after the Nigerian police had declared 12 of its men missing in Bayelsa state after some militants had attacked them in the oil-rich region of the southern part of the country.
Bayelsa state police spokesman Alex Akhigbe had said the officers boat had developed some faults before they were ambushed in Azazuma village.
But the statement said they killed 15 policemen in a gun duel and that two of the militants also died.
Recently, MEND had threatened to resume attacks after many months.
However, some former militants in the delta region have said the statements credited to MEND were false but coming from criminal gangs.
The statement had accused the Nigerian government of giving false evidence that led to the jailing of MEND leader, Henry Okah, in South Africa.
MEND is one of several groups that have carried out attacks in the Niger Delta claiming the region needs to control its oil resources.
Some groups accepted an amnesty offer by the government but MEND rejected it.
Okah was found guilty of bombing Nigeria`s capital, Abuja in 2010 and killing not less than 10 persons.