Military raids militants` camps in Nigeria

Nigeria`s military has raided three militant camps in the oil-rich country`s Niger Delta region, putting pressure on rebels to abandon the area.

Last Updated: Dec 02, 2010, 21:44 PM IST

Abuja: Nigeria`s military has raided three
militant camps in the oil-rich country`s Niger Delta region,
putting pressure on rebels to abandon the area.

"Following the series of attacks on oil pipelines, the
military responded with raids on militants` camps across the
Niger Delta including three on Sunday night," said Col.
Timothy Atigha of the Joint Task Force, without .

However, the main militant group `Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta` (MEND) has warned of further
reprisal attacks stating "we will go ahead with our planned
attacks at the appropriate time."

The group, which claimed responsibility for a recent
bombing that rocked the oil-rich African country`s capital
Abuja, criticized an amnesty programme embarked upon by the
government to assuage the militancy and called it a complete
failure.

"After billions of naira spent all the government has
to show for the amnesty and re-integration is complete
failure," the MEND said.

Last week, 65 men suspected to be members of the rebel
groups were captured and arraigned before a magistrates court
in Port Harcourt, in the eastern state of Rivers. They were
remanded in prison custody pending the scheduling of a fresh
appearance date.

"We conducted our investigations and found that they
have been involved in very heinous crimes. One of them
confessed to killing his colleagues to recover some arms. They
also confessed that they took the expatriates freed by the JTF
hostage and collected ransom in some cases," Rivers State
police commissioner Suleiman Abba had said.

JTF, deployed by the oil-rich African country`s
government to keep peace in the region, last week said that
rebels were arrested at various locations in the Niger Delta.

The JTF commenced a battle against the rebels after
issuing a warning to residents of the areas to relocate.

The oil-rich region of Nigeria is known for
unrestricted attacks by rebels who claim to be fighting for
fair share of the country’s oil wealth but often kidnap oil
workers and demand for ransom.

During a presidential pardon last year, some militants
operating in the area exchanged their arms for some monetary
compensation promising to stop their activities.

PTI