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Gunmen Attack Oil Facility in Southern Nigeria, Nine Killed

24 January 2006

A shootout between gunmen and security forces has killed nine people at the offices of an Italian oil company in southern Nigeria.

The company, Eni, says it has temporarily evacuated staff and contractors from its base in the city of Port Harcourt.

Witnesses say the dead include eight policemen and one civilian. The company says a number of people were also wounded in Tuesday's attack.

According to several accounts, the gunmen raided the offices, exchanged fire with police, and robbed a bank on the premises before making their escape.

It was unclear if the gunmen are linked to militants who have staged a recent series of attacks on Nigerian oil facilities.

The attacks have led to an estimated 10-percent drop in Nigerian oil production, putting pressure on world prices.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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