LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 -- Eni SPA said it has temporarily evacuated staff and contractors from its Port Harcourt base in the Niger Delta after an attack Jan. 24 by an armed gang that killed as many as nine people.
As many as 30 gang members, carrying assault rifles, entered Eni's facilities by speedboat, exchanged gunfire with local security forces, and made their way to a banking facility where they stole about $28,000.
Seven uniformed police, a plainclothes security official, and one company employee were reported to have died in the gunfight that ended when the attackers fled in their speedboat.
Eni said there were others injured, but it was unclear how many. Italy said none of its citizens were among the dead.
Police were unable to confirm if the robbery was linked to earlier attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
Earlier this month, Royal Dutch Shell PLC evacuated a reported 326 workers from one of its oil facilities in Nigeria on Jan. 15 after 16 people were killed or wounded in an attack by unidentified gunmen (OGJ Online, Jan. 23, 2006).
Contact Eric Watkins at [email protected].