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Cablegate: June 23 Niger Delta Incident Summary

VZCZCXRO4508
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0912 1800959
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290959Z JUN 06
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7478
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 7471

UNCLAS LAGOS 000912

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
STATE FOR INR/AA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET PGOV ASEC PTER CASC NI
SUBJECT: JUNE 23 NIGER DELTA INCIDENT SUMMARY

REF: LAGOS 787

1. This is the biweekly roundup of security incidents in the
Niger Delta. This roundup excludes "normal" street crime and
concentrates on particularly serious incidents with a
possible militant or political element. These incidents have
not been reported in other cables or are updates of
previously reported items. Separately, these events would
not warrant individual cables but they are noteworthy for
they are indicative of the level of violence and unrest in
this important region of Nigeria.

2. June 21 - Assailants attacked the Port Harcourt compound
of Rivers State Commissioner for Finance Kenneth Kobani.
They threw explosives into the compound after they were
unable to penetrate its defenses. No clear motive has been
identified for the attack (some say the Commissioner is
eyeing the gubernatorial seat), which follows a similar
attack on the Port Harcourt home of Deputy Speaker of the
National House of Representatives, Austin Opara (reftel).
Speculation continues that Opara's home was attacked due to
his support, albeit tepid, for President Obasanjo's tenure
extension.

3. June 22 - The Naval Base at Port Harcourt was attacked by
five to six speed boats. There was an exchange of gunfire
between government security forces and the attackers, who
also allegedly used dynamite. The attackers escaped with 100
million naira (781,000 USD) from the First BaQ, Bonny
Branch. There is no confirmation of casualties or damage to
any boats involved, but two Navy personnel were initially
reported missing.

4. This cable was cleared by Embassy Abuja.
BROWNE

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