Nigeria: September 18, 2004

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Fighting between competing gangs, and the police, in the coastal oil region has left over 500 dead in the past month. The fighting is getting worse, as the gangs take a lot of the money they earn (over a million dollars a day) and buy weapons, vehicles and speedboats. The mobile and armed gangs then fight each other for control of territory, and the oil pipelines that run through it. Punching holes in pipelines, the thieves steal over 4 million gallons of crude oil each day, and waste even more (which also pollutes the area around each leak).

The army, navy and police have become more aggressive attacking the bases of these tribe based gangs. These raids often results in a lot of dead bodies, as the government forces tend to go in with guns blazing, knowing that the gangs are heavily armed and will quickly return fire. But the gangs also have more fast cars and speedboats, and the key people often escape. 

 

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