PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria - Nigeria's military has named seven people it says were behind an attack on an oil pipeline belonging to Italy's Eni on Saturday, and denied a claim that a former separatist militia in the Niger Delta was responsible.
A statement purporting to be from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility, but Nigeria's joint military task force (JTF) said the Eni attack was the work of criminal gangs masquerading as MEND.The explosion on Eni's Nembe-Brass pipeline in Bayelsa state shut down a route that carries some 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.
"The Joint Task Force have identified the following as the brains behind the dastardly act," a JTF spokesman said on Monday, listing the seven. He did not say what action the army planned to take against them.
Reuters contacted two of those on the military's list. Both denied involvement.