The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, which left security personnel dead in Bayelsa state. Four marine policemen and four soldiers were killed in separate incidents.
The claim follows an earlier claim of responsibility for last month’s attack on an oil pipeline owned by Italian firm Eni.
MEND said in an email statement to journalists by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo that “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) confirms that the attack on a Nigerian marine police checkpoint on Thursday March 1, 2012, in Bayelsa state in the Niger Delta … was carried out by our fighters,”
He said MEND was in contact with the group that had kidnapped three people in a pirate attack on a Dutch vessel Near Port Harcourt on Tuesday and were considering taking them in.
“The kidnappers have offered to hand these sailors who are all in good health over to one of our camps in Rivers State. We are considering this offer as these men were not captured from a vessel related to the Nigerian oil industry” Gbomo Jomo said noting that two of the kidnapped men were Russians and one Filipino.
“MEND wishes to sound a warning to masters of oil industry vessels considering adopting manoeuvers aimed at preventing our fighters from boarding their vessels.
“We will launch rockets at … uncooperative vessels, and ensure such vessels are set alight, when we eventually board.” The statement said.