Africa

Militants claim blast of another Nigeria oil pipeline

Nigerian militants say they have blown up another crude pipeline owned by Italian oil company Agip.

The Niger Delta Avengers announced the early-morning blast in Bayelsa state in a tweet Friday.

The latest blast comes a few days after the militants rejected the government's offer of peace talks. Nigeria's government had ordered the military to halt attacks in the oil-producing south and urged the militants to halt the bombings to allow a dialogue.

But the militants say they will not negotiate.

They also have blown up installations of Dutch-British Shell and U.S.-based oil company Chevron, halving Nigeria's production to about 1.2 million barrels a day.

The assaults have ended years of relative peace in the delta and have lost Nigeria its place as Africa's biggest oil producer to Angola.