The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, in the early hours of Saturday, struck in Bayelsa State, blowing up oil trunk lines belonging to Agip Oil and Shell Petroleum Development Company. The Nigerian military raided the Oporoza community soon after.
In claiming responsibility for the explosions in a tweet, the group said: “At About 2.15am on Saturday the @NDAvengers blow up Nembe 1, 2 and 3 Brass to Bonny Trunk Line belonging to Agip and Shell.”
Apparently responding to distress calls, the army raided the Oporoza community, which is home to Government Ekpemupolo, known as Tompolo, a former militant leader who security officials have linked to the Avengers.
Tompolo has since denied any connection to the group.
“Men, women and children, everybody have fled Oporoza because the military invaded our village around 0145 this morning,” said Eric Omare, spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council, which represents one of the largest ethnic groups in southern Nigeria and to which the Delta belongs.
“They are harassing people, arresting some boys and they wounded one of our chiefs,” he said. “Everybody is still in the bush crying for help.”
A military source said seven people had been arrested, adding that explosives, arms and ammunition had been found in their possession.