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THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ

Militant Attack Triggers Oil Pipeline Fire Near Kirkuk

September 04, 2004|From Associated Press

BAGHDAD — Firefighters fought a massive oil pipeline blaze Friday in northern Iraq after insurgents detonated explosives on the line that stretches from fields southwest of Kirkuk to a refinery in Baiji.

Officials at the Northern Oil Co. decided to temporarily stop pumping oil to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, fearing that the fire from Thursday's sabotage could spread to the key pipeline running to the port, said Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin of the Iraqi national guard in Kirkuk.

He called the explosion "the biggest sabotage operation on the oil installations in Kirkuk since the invasion." Authorities said it could take two days to fix the pipeline.

Iraq's oil industry, which provides money for reconstruction efforts, has been the target of repeated attacks by insurgents.

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