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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

    Death Toll in Oil Pipeline Blasts in Southeastern Nigeria Climbs to 24 - Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of people killed as a result of oil pipeline explosions that occurred in two settlements of Nigeria’s southeastern state of Abia has reached 24, local media reported.

    As many as 14 people were reported dead at Umuimo village, while 10 others died at Umuaduru settlement, according to the Punch media outlet. Pipeline spill is believed to be the cause of the explosions, Punch reported.

    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.

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    In 2009, Shell claimed that saboteurs from local villages, who were drilling holes in its pipelines to steal oil, were responsible for 98 percent of the company's oil spills in the country. Under Nigerian law, Shell holds no liability when spills are classified as result of sabotage.


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