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Nigerian troops attack camps, rebels say scores killed

Oil prices soar after strong US, China data
New York (AFP) Dec 1, 2010 - Oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday boosted by strong economic data from the world's two largest economies, the United States and China. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January, gained 2.64 dollars to 86.75 dollars. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January jumped 2.95 dollars to 88.87 dollars a barrel in London trade. "There has been just a raft of bullish news today, starting with the overnight news out of China, the employment data in the US," said analyst John Kilduff of Again Capital. Surveys in China showed a strong pick-up in manufacturing activity and in the United States, a much stronger-than-expected rise in private sector employment lifted confidence the US economic recovery was well under way. Energy demand is also being bolstered by plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfall across Europe, Barclays Capital said in a note to clients. "Some price support has come from estimates of colder-than-normal temperatures in Europe, pointing to strong seasonal demand for heating oil," it noted.
by Staff Writers
Lagos (AFP) Dec 1, 2010
Nigeria's military said it had raided three camps run by suspected rebels in the southern Delta State on Wednesday in an attack that a militant group said had left more than 100 people dead.

"We have not taken a casualty count from the operation yet in the three camps," Colonel Timothy Antigha, a spokesman for the military's Joint Task Force, told AFP.

"An unspecified number of people may have been killed during the operation, but anybody who was killed was a criminal because innocent people do not live in camps."

He was reacting to a statement made earlier by a little known militant group, the Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF), which claimed that more than 100 people were killed during the raid on Anyakoromor community in the state.

"The casualties are mostly little children, aged parents and women," the NDLF said in the press statement.

Antigha said that those that might have fallen victims of the raid were "criminals," dismissing the claims about the identity of any victims as being intended "to whip up international sentiments."

"The Chief of Defence Staff last month warned civilians living around the camps to relocate elsewhere. Those who did not leave cannot claim to be civilians because innocent civilians do not live in camps," said Antigha.

Thousands of arms and ammunitions, including anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, dynamites, small guns were recovered from the three camps located between Ayakoromor and Okrika communities, he said.

A magistrate in Nigeria's oil city of Port Harcourt Wednesday charged 65 people believed to be behind the recent abduction of some of over a dozen oil workers, the police said.

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