not so easy to steal Iraq's oil
- Just as the imperialists were celebrating getting the pipeline open again, the
Iraqi resistance has shown it's not so easy to steal Iraq's oil. The
following article, attributed to D'Arcy Doran of the Associated Press,
appeared on page A19 of the Sunday, August 17, 2003 edition of The Arizona
SABOTEURS ATTACK OIL PIPELINE IN IRAQ
New Police Commander Vows Justice
Tikrit, Iraq--Saboteurs blew up a giant oil pipeline in northern Iraq, halting
oil exports to Turkey only days after they resumed and cutting off vital
income for an economy in shambles. The new Iraqi police commander vowed
Saturday to pursue the "conspirators" behind the attack.
Iraqi oil exports to Turkey had begun only on Wednesday, and the explosion
early Friday near Baiji, 125 miles [200 kilometres] northeast [north --Kevin]
of Baghdad, cut them off, Acting Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadaban said
Police Brigadier General Ahmed Ibrahim, once imprisoned for speaking out
against Saddam Hussein, was appointed Saturday as top Iraqi law enforcement
official. He blamed the explosion on "a group of conspirators who received
money frooom a particular party," which he did not identify.
Ghadaban said it would take several days to get the pipeline working again.
"It is a large pipeline with large volume of crude oil," he said.
The 46-inch [117 cm] diameter pipeline runs 600 miles [1000 kilometres] from
the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to the Turkish city of Ceyhan and handles
all oil exports to Turkey.
"there is no oil flowing into Turkey right now," said Colonel Bobby Nicholson,
chief engineer for the U.S. Army's Fourth Infantry Division.
Oil began flowing through the pipeline wednesday, and Turkey's semiofficial
Anatolia news agency, citing officials, reported 750,000 barrels were
pumped before it was attacked. Turkish officials had earlier blamed the
pipeline troubles on "telecommunicatinos problems."
Iraq has the world's second-largest proven crude reserves, at 112 billion
barrels, but its pipelines, pumping stations and oil resevoirs are
dilapidated after more than a decade of neglect. Northern Iraq, site of the
giant Kirkuk oil fields, accounts for 40 percent of Iraq's oil production.
Farther north, attackers ambushed the police chief of Mosul, wounding him
and killing two people, apparently his bodyguards, the U.S. military reported.
Fourteen others were wounded, said Sergeant Danny Martin, a spokesman.
"It was an ambush at an intersection," Martin said.
Martin said the official, identified only as "Chief Mohammed," had two
bullets in the leg, and his condition was not life-threatening.
An American soldier was wounded by shrapnel Saturday when a patrol of
Abrams tanks, armored personnel carriers and Humvees was ambushed near
Baqouba, 45 miles [72 kilometres] northeast of Baghdad.
The attackers detonated a roadside bomb made of four 155 mm artillery
shells, then opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic
weapons, said Captain Jon Casey of the Fourth Infantry Division, who
was on the patrol.
"We engaged them with our own automatic weapons and called in helicopter
support," he said. "We had no further contact and secured the area."
The division also announced the detention of Said Ali al-Karim, a
Baquoba cleric known as "the prophet" it said had urged violence against
Americans and financed Saddam loyalists fighting U.S. forces.