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Vol 45 No 18

Published 10th September 2004


Nigeria

Guns, gangs and oil

Troops are moving into Port Harcourt, the oil capital, to suppress the gangster rebels

Last week, a dozen customers at a restaurant at 10 Warri Street, Port Harcourt, were machine-gunned to death at their tables by a gang of youths, who then shot dead more bystanders in Sangana St. Nobody knows who the gang was or for whom it was working. Locals assume it was another settling of scores in the bloody battle for territory and money in the oil-producing Niger Delta region. No war has been declared in Rivers State but this year gang fighting and communal clashes have been as violent as under military dictatorship in the 1990s. Once known as the 'garden city', as federal troops move in Port Harcourt is now called the 'garrison city' by environmentalist and lawyer Oronto Douglas.

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