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Breaking! Niger Delta Avengers Bomb Chevron’s Escravos Tank Farm In Delta

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Niger Delta Avengers on Wednesday night blew up the main gas pipeline that provides electricity to the Escravos tank farm in Delta state owned by Chevron, they said on Twitter.

The militant group said on its Twitter handle @NDAvengers that it carried out the bombing after Chevron ignored its May 12 warning not to fix a major crude pipeline blown up by the group early in the month.

The Avengers say they are fighting for a greater share of oil profits, an end to pollution and independence of the Niger Delta region.

They have warned oil firms to leave before the end of the month, according to a series of statements issued on its website or Twitter feed, and have complained that most oil blocs belong to northerners and not to Niger Deltans who remain stuck in squalor and hopelessness.

President Muhammadu Buhari last week announced that he had ordered security forces to “deal with the situation” and crush the militants threatening to ground Nigeria’s economy.

But Britain has warned that force alone will make things worse and called on Mr. Buhari to address grievances in the Delta.

Mr. Buhari has extended an amnesty deal signed with militants in 2009 that increased funding for the region, but he has cut funding for the deal and cancelled contracts with former militants to protect the pipelines they used to attack.

With the former deal, militants who used to blow up pipelines were paid to protect them. But with the cancellation of those contracts, a new group of militants emerged early this year and has resumed the bombing of oil installations.

Oil production has crashed to its lowest in decades.

This story has been corrected to reflect that the bombing took place last night not this morning.

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