A militant group has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a state-owned pipeline in southern Nigeria, in what it said was a response to a military offensive against the oil rebels. The pipeline of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company in Delta state was blown up yesterday, in the latest attack on the country's key oil and gas infrastructure. The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate said it staged the attack "to register our presence" and protest "the calculated psychological attack recently initiated by the Nigerian security forces against our people." In a statement late yesterday, it vowed to continue the bombings despite a government truce offer. Nigeria has deployed troops since July to hunt down the militants while at the same time opening peace talks in a bid to end the violence. Since February, several militant groups have stepped up attacks on the nation's oil and gas facilities, hurting government revenues at a time of a global fall in crude prices. The groups claim to be seeking a fairer share of Nigeria's multi-billion-dollar oil wealth for the Niger delta people in the southern swamplands -- as well as greater political autonomy. One of the groups, the Niger Delta Avengers, announced a ceasefire in August by accepting a government truce offer.
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