- Title: IRAQ: SHI'ITE MILITIA SET FIRE TO OIL WELL NEAR AMARA.
- Date: 18th August 2004
- Summary: (EU) NEAR AMARA, IRAQ (AUGUST 17, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/LV: VARIOUS OF OIL WELL ON FIRE, FIRE FIGHTERS BATTLING FLAMES (4 SHOTS) 1.10 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2004 13:00
- Location: NEAR AMARA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVAEYATI9OVW4NS3DLOHH8PFI5L2
- Story Text: Shi'ite militia have set fire to an oil well in
A massive fire was still raging on Tuesday (August
17) after insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an
oil well in southern Iraq on Sunday (August 15).
Lilu Saadun al-Muhamadawi, head of the province's civil
defence force said that unknown assailants had fired
rocket-propelled grenades at an oil well at at 2:00 pm
(1000 GMT) on Sunday (August 15), setting it on fire. He
said that it had been impossible to extinguish the fire as
this could only be done by using aircraft.
The oil well is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) east
of Amara near the village of Al-Mawil, the source said.
While the attack on one of thousands of oil wells in
Iraq's southern fields will have negligible impact on
production, it underlines the threat to Iraq's oil
infrastructure from the Mehdi army, followers of anti-U.S.
cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The militia is mostly active in central and southern
Iraq and has threatened to attack oil facilities in
response to the U.S. offensive against Sadr and his
followers in the city of Najaf, a centre of Shi'ite
The uprising has already forced Iraq to close its main
southern oil export pipelines, reducing the country's
export flow by almost half for the past week.
The unrest has cut the country's exports to about
900,000 barrels per day since saboteurs attacked the
pipeline and a U.S. offensive against Sadr's followers
spread to several Iraqi cities.
A spokesman for the Southern Oil Company said the
crucial pipeline had been shut for security reasons, piling
pressure on world markets.
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