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Over 100 persons were killed in an explosion at an illegal oil refining depot in Nigeria’s Rivers state.

Nigeria: A local government official in Nigeria’s Rivers state reported on Saturday that an explosion at an illegal oil refining depot killed more than 100 persons overnight. ‘The fire broke out at an illegal bunkering site,’ said Goodluck Opiah, the state commissioner for petroleum resources. ‘Over 100 persons were burned beyond recognition.’ Due to unemployment and poverty in the oil-producing Niger Delta, illegal crude refining has become a lucrative enterprise, but it has deadly repercussions.

Crude oil is extracted through a network of pipes operated by large oil firms and processed into products in temporary tanks.

Nigeria: Explosion at illegal oil refining depot

The risky method has resulted in a number of fatalities and has damaged a region already plagued by oil leaks in fields, streams, and lagoons. Several automobiles in a line to acquire illegal fuel were burned in the explosion, according to the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre. In October, an explosion and fire at another illicit refinery in Rivers state killed at least 25 people, including several children. Local authorities announced in February that they had begun a crackdown to try to stop the refining of stolen petroleum, but with little apparent result.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and exporter, is estimated to lose 200,000 barrels of oil a day – more than 10% of production – to those tapping or vandalizing pipelines, according to government officials. As a result, oil companies have been obliged to declare force majeure on oil and gas shipments on a regular basis.

On Friday evening, authorities said, a blast in the capital of Nigeria’s northeastern Taraba state injured 11 people, including children, days after an explosion claimed by Islamic State killed three people in a bazaar in a remote village in Taraba. The explosions in Taraba are the latest in a series of Islamist insurgencies that have ravaged Nigeria’s northeast for the past decade.

‘An explosion occurred in Nukkai, Jalingo, at 8.15 p.m. yesterday. Eleven young people, ten males and one female, aged 11 to 18, suffered minor bruises that were treated. No one was killed. ‘No one has admitted to the crime,’ said Usman Abdullahi, a Taraba State police official. On Tuesday, an explosion at a bazaar in Iware killed three people and injured 19.

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