Powerful ex-gang leader shot in Nigerian oil hub

Austin Ekeinde (Reuters Africa)
08/25/10
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, Aug 25 (Reuters) – A powerful former Nigerian gang leader accused of helping to rig elections in the oil-producing Niger Delta was shot and believed killed late on Tuesday, raising fears of retaliation in the volatile region.

Police said Soboma George, a one-time militant leader who accepted a government amnesty last year, was shot during a gunfight in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers state, before being taken away by gunmen.

George originally led a gang called the Outlaws but had strong political connections and a significant following among youths in Rivers state.

“He was shot in the head several times and taken away. All efforts to recover his corpse failed,” Rivers state Police Commissioner Suleiman Abbah told Reuters, adding members of his immediate family had told police they believed he was dead

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