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    People push oil barrels away from the site of an explosion at a petrol station and storage facility near the Bakara open-air market in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, February 23, 2015

    Explosions at Oil Pipeline in Abia, Nigeria Kill At Least 16 – Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - At least 16 people lost their lives on Friday when explosions, presumably caused by "thieves," occurred at an oil pipeline in Nigeria’s southeastern state of Abia, local media reported, citing the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

    The incident happened in the village of Umuaduru, NSCDC Abia Commander Benito Eze said, according to the Premium Times newspaper. The pipeline’s operator Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) confirmed that the explosions have claimed lives of several people.

    "NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed fatalities and loss of properties in the ensuing inferno … the incident might have been caused by suspected oil thieves who had hacked into the line to intercept flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba," the company wrote on Facebook.

    Explosions of oil pipelines are frequently used by Nigerian militant groups as a tool of political and economic blackmail of both the government and business. At the same time, some companies operating in the African country tend to claim that most cases of oil spills are caused by theft and sabotage to avoid paying compensation for the incidents in reality caused by their negligence and non-compliance with regulations,

    Likewise, Italy's energy giant Eni and British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company Shell have provided incorrect information about the causes and scale of oil spills in Nigeria in order to avoid compensations, the Amnesty International human rights group said in March.

    READ MORE: Black Plumes in the Sky: Oil Tanker Explodes in Nigeria, 9 Dead, 54 Cars Burned

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    victims, sabotage, explosion, oil pipeline, Abia, Nigeria
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