Major oil pipeline blown up as one US soldier wounded in Iraq
Saboteurs blew up a major pipeline and stopped all oil flow from Iraq to Turkey, just three days after the pipeline between the two states was reopened, officials said Saturday.
Thamer al-Ghadaban, Iraq's acting oil minister, said at a news conference that the 46-inch-thick pipeline was "blown up" early Friday, sparking a fire that still raged Saturday, the AP reported.
American troops were helping Iraqi oil workers contain the fire outside the northern town of Baiji on a section of the 600-mile pipeline from the northern city of Kirkuk to the Turkish city of Ceyhan.
"It could take several days to repair it and put it back in operation. It is a large pipeline with large volume of crude oil," al-Ghadaban said. "Our information is that explosives were used."
Meanwhile, Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who is overseeing the establishment of Iraq's interior ministry, announced Saturday that a police officer once imprisoned for speaking out against Saddam Hussein would be his senior deputy at the interior ministry.
Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ibrahim had been working as head of the Iraqi police's special investigations unit. During a police raid last month, he was shot in the right leg.
"Gen. Ibrahim's actions reflect tremendous courage, professionalism and dedication to duty," Kerik said in a statement.
Elsewhere, a U.S. soldier was wounded Saturday when Iraqis armed with a homemade bomb and rocket-propelled grenades attacked a patrol in the town of Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad, the military said.
The soldier was evacuated to a combat support hospital in stable condition. (Albawaba.com)
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