Nigeria frees MEND militant; attacks continue

The Nigerian government freed militant leader Henry Okah July 13, meeting a demand by Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), who have been attacking the country’s oil installations and kidnapping oil workers. The insurgents have said that his release would not lead them to end their attacks. On July 12, rebels set fire to an oil depot and loading tankers in Lagos, killing five—MEND’s first attack outside the Delta region. (AP, July 13)

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  1. MEND declares 30-day ceasefire
    MEND declared a 60-day ceasefire July 15, following the release of their leader, Henry Okah, who had been held for more than a year by the government on charges including treason. The MEND statement said the ceasefire included kidnappings, but the group separately told the BBC that pipelines and oil buildings already blown up must not be repaired. (Reuters, BBC World Service, July 16)