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Ethnic Gunbattles Rage in Nigerian Oil City

Heavy gunfire resounded through the Nigerian oil city of Warri on Monday, as ethnic clashes that have killed at least eight people continued for a fourth day, witnesses said. The fighting is the worst in the Niger Delta around Warri since March, when a revolt by the Ijaw ethnic group forced oil firms to abandon key production facilities in OPEC-member Nigeria. Witnesses said there was also sporadic shooting overnight, mainly from soldiers firing warning shots during a dusk-to-dawn curfew. The Nigerian Red Cross raised its death toll in the violence from four to eight, but feared more bodies could be discovered. Dozens of buildings have been destroyed. “There was an eruption (of violence) yesterday…The eruption was such that more people were killed,” Nigerian Red Cross President Emmanuel Ijewere told Reuters. “We saw eight people by this morning, but we have reason to believe there were more than that.” Local sources put the death toll considerably higher, at up to 50. Full Story

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