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Nigerian militants threaten more attacks

world Updated: Aug 24, 2009 16:03 IST

Nigeria's main militant outfit on Monday threatened to resume attacks against the oil industry, accusing the government of using the amnesty programme to "separate" the rebel group.

The Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), responsible for many attacks in the oil rich region, said it would "resume its attacks on the oil industry at the end of the 60-day ceasefire on September 15".

"The ongoing amnesty programme by the government of Nigeria seems to have achieved separating those who still have the zeal to fight for our freedom from those who were in it for the money," the group said in a statement.

Warning came hours after Ebikabowei 'Boyloaf' Victor Ben, who commands the biggest faction of the MEND in the state of Bayelsa, surrendered to the government handing over rocket launchers, gunboats, guns and bullets, in the biggest handover in the amnesty programme launched weeks ago.

Past warnings by the group led to attacks on oil installations and death of military and civilian personnel.

MEND said "most of the weapons being handed over to the government under the amnesty programme were government-owned and the militants who handed over them were not part of recent bombings".

"Many of the boys who have received money today will at best squander it on material things and what happens next can best be left to the imagination," it said, adding their mission is to emancipate the Niger Delta people.