The Federal government has ordered the immediate withdrawal of troops from communities in Niger Delta, amid allegations of a heavy-handed military response to attacks on oil and gas installations in the area.

A new group called the Niger Delta Avengers has declared war on national infrastructures, vowing to ground all oil production from the region.

The group, which says it wants a sovereign state of the Niger Delta, has attacked several facilities in recent weeks, cutting oil and gas production and forcing oil companies to shut some export terminals.

Some residents have complained of indiscriminate arrests by soldiers hunting the militants.

For the sake of peace, the government said it was withdrawing troops immediately. Soldiers will however continue to patrol the waterways.

The decision was taken at a meeting between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, governors from states in the region, some ministers and service chiefs.

President Buhari had directed a two-week cessation of military offensive in Niger Delta region, to enable the government dialogue with the militants, before deciding on the next line of action.

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