Nigeria's military denies killing 10 people in an offensive against renewed militancy in the southern oil-rich Niger Delta area of Africa's biggest petroleum producer. Thousands are fleeing the violence.

Militants say 10 "innocent civilians" were shot in the past two days as troops searched for a gang leader wanted for alleged gun-running and stormed his home.

Brig. Gen. Stevenson Olabanji told The Associated Press that troops came under attack and returned defensive fire. He said no one was killed.

There was no way to verify the accounts of the shootout in Bori, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the oil capital Port Harcourt.

Militants have renewed attacks on oil pipelines as the government winds down a six-year amnesty program that paid 30,000 to guard the installations they once attacked.