Monday, June 23, 2003

A fuel pipeline exploded and caught fire west of Baghdad, a possible act of sabotage that sent flames high into the sky, as Iraq returned to world oil markets Sunday with its first crude oil exports since the U.S.-led invasion.

Meanwhile, a grenade attack Sunday killed an American soldier and wounded another just outside the capital, the latest violence to plague U.S. forces, who have launched a large crackdown aimed at putting down persistent resistance.

The pipeline explosion did not effect the resumption of crude exports, but the apparent sabotage highlighted recent attacks on fuel pipelines and other infrastructure that have hampered the drive to repair Iraq's most vital industry – one U.S. and British administrators are relying on to finance reconstruction.

The damaged pipeline carries gas – not oil – from the city of Kirkuk, 150 miles north of Baghdad, to various parts of Iraq to fuel power stations, said Brig. Salam al-Hity, a senior police official in Hit.

The U.S. military said the cause of the blast was still under investigation, but local officials said it was sabotage.

It is so hard for me to comprehend the twisted motives that drive these characters. Read it here.

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