19 die in Nigeria oil conflict


Lagos - At least 19 people have been shot dead in clashes in Nigeria's oil region since an ultimatum to oil firms to leave ethnic Ijaw areas expired, witnesses said yesterday.

Militant Ijaw youths alleging pollution and deprivation of wealth demanded oil multinationals leave by December 30th, at which time clashes erupted between soldiers and protesters in Yenegoa, capital of the oil-producing Bayelsa State.