Nigerian Air Force fires missile into civilian building in Port Harcourt

A Nigerian Air Force helicopter on routine patrol in Port Harcourt ‘mistakenly’ fired a rocket into a building on Friday.

The building, still under construction in the Woji district, is believed to be unoccupied at the time the missile landed on it and there were no casualties from the damage, Air Vice Marshall Abba Zannah, commander of the air base in the city, told reporters.

“We have commenced investigation into the incident to ascertain what made the rocket drop from the helicopter,” he said.

Port Harcourt is a key base for international oil and gas companies that pump crude oil to world markets from the surrounding Niger Delta and nearby offshore fields.

Port Harcourt, a volatile city, in the past recorded heavy attacks targeting the oil and gas industry by militant groups seeking a greater share of oil revenue for the region. Their attacks between 2006 and 2009 forced down Nigeria’s crude oil output to less than one million barrels per day.

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The attacks have reduced after some of the militants accepted a government amnesty in 2009 and disarmed. In recent months the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the main armed group in the region, has stepped up attacks on oil installations, saying its demands were not met.



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