Nigeria's Deadly Days

SUNDAY ALAMBA / AP

LINE OF DEATH: Pipelines in Nigeria are often sabotaged. A blast outside Lagos last week, right, killed more than 150

Teeming with bird and marine life, giant ferns and towering mangrove plants whose roots straddle land and water like the legs of lumbering animals, the creeks and swamps of the Niger Delta lie over one of the biggest reserves of oil on the planet: 34 billion bbl. of black gold. The region, a watery maze flung across 50,000 sq km in southern Nigeria, is also home to some of Africa's poorest people, and some of its worst environmental destruction. There are villages without power, water, health clinics or schools; pipelines that scar the earth; oil slicks that shimmer on rivers; flares...

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