The vortex of violence in the Niger Delta shows no sign of abating. The news agency, Reuters has reported how 20 Nigerian Shell contractors are missing after an attack. According to Reuters the men were abducted during a raid earlier this week on a convoy of boats supplying oilfields.

At least five soldiers protecting the convoy are believed to have been killed when 70 gunmen in speed boats attacked the barges carrying fuel and other supplies to Shell facilities in the remote Cawthorne Channel in the Rivers state of the Niger Delta. “There is still confusion over what has happened. About 20 Nigerian oil workers who work for a Shell contractor were abducted. As of now they are still missing,” one Shell source told the news agency.

Monday’s attack ended a period of relative quiet in the Niger Delta, and there were conflicting reports about who was behind the attack, with one group – MEND – The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta – denying responsibility. “This action was carried out without our consent by fighters loyal solely to Asari and has absolutely nothing to do with MEND,” said a spokesman.
Article Cited: Reuters, 20 Nigerian Shell Contractors Missing After Attack, Port Harcourt, October 3, 2006