1 March 2012
YENAGOA, March 1 (Reuters) - Suspected pirates in speedboats killed four police on Thursday after opening fire on a marine police checkpoint in the creeks of Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta, police said.
Militant activity in the delta has dropped sharply since the main factions signed an amnesty with the government in 2009 but criminal gangs, pirates and oil thieves still roam its swamps and creeks.
"There was an attack on our formation and ... four men from the marine police team were killed," Eguavoen Emokpae, police spokesman for Bayelsa, one of
's three main oil-producing states, said. Nigeria
"The reason for the attack is still sketchy."
Security in the delta has improved since militant activity shut down nearly half of
's oil output around the middle of the last decade. But the situation remains volatile and inflamed by organised crime and local political rivalries. Nigeria
Pirates opened fire on a Dutch cargo ship a few miles from
Nigeria's on Wednesday, kidnapping the ship's master and an engineer and stealing cash. Port Harcourt