Suspected pirates have killed three men working for the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in the West African country’s restive swamplands, a security official said Friday. The workers were ambushed on Wednesday while doing repairs on pipelines operated by Agip, a subsidiary of Italian oil company Eni, in the creeks of southern Bayelsa State. A security source, who asked to remain anonymous, said two engineers and a driver were killed. The source said the attack occurred in “a notorious place where gunmen operate freely.”
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps commandant Desmond Agu told AFP that the army, navy and civil defence had sent out a joint search team Thursday. “At about 1100 hours (Thursday), the dead bodies of two killed personnel were discovered in Oguama River,” Agu said. The body of the third victim had yet to be found. Security has deteriorated in parts of Nigeria as the military focuses on beating back the Boko Haram Islamists that have devastated the northeast. There has been increasing violence in the oil-producing south, with new militant groups attacking oil infrastructure to press their demands for a greater share of crude revenues and political autonomy.