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Jan 02,2008
At least 10 die in Nigerian violence
by UPI

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria -- A series of attacks by a street gang Tuesday left at least 10 people dead in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Authorities said the assaults, which appeared coordinated, occurred at two police stations, a hotel and a restaurant, The New York Times reported. The victims included at least four police officers and several of the attackers, the newspaper said.

Police officials said the assailants were believed to be members of the Niger Delta Vigilante, one of many gangs and military groups that have operated in the oil-rich region plagued by kidnappings and violence, the Times reported.

The attacks were believed to have been in response to strikes by the Nigerian military on the headquarters of the Niger Delta Vigilante in the town of Okrika, not far from Port Harcourt, which is home to the gang's leader, Ateke Tom.

"They are trying to say, 'You did not wipe us out; we are still here,'" said Patrick Naagbanton, a human rights activist in Port Harcourt. "This was a show of force."

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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