Reuters International

LUANDA (Reuters) - The leader of a rebel movement seeking independence for Angola's main oil region has died in exile in France, the group said in a statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) said Nzita Henriques Tiago, 88, would be buried in France on Friday as he only wanted his body taken back to Cabinda if it was an independent state.

It did not say exactly when Tiago, who was president and co-founder of FLEC, died.

FLEC fought a low-level insurgency for four decades in the thin enclave sandwiched between Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo which accounts for around half of Angola's oil output.

The group grabbed world headlines in January 2010 for a deadly attack on a bus carrying the Togo national football team during the African Nations Cup held in Angola but has not carried out a recent high-profile strike.

Crude output from Angola, Africa's second-largest oil producer, was never seriously threatened by the rebels as the crude is drilled offshore.

(Reporting by Herculano Coroado; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Joe Brock)

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