Bomb attack causes fire in Iraq fuel pipeline again

BAGHDAD Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:31pm GMT

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb set fire to a pipeline carrying fuel oil from Iraq's largest refinery to a province north of Baghdad on Wednesday, the second attack in less than a week on the same pipeline, the oil ministry said.

The line was targeted Saturday when a bomb attack disabled the 16-inch pipeline transporting fuel oil from Iraq's largest refinery of Baji to Nineveh province in the north.

The oil ministry said a technical crew managed to repair the damaged part of the line, which normally pumps around 7 million litres of fuel per day, and resumed fuel pumping Saturday evening.

The second bomb blast - which was occurred Wednesday morning near the province of Nineveh, has halted flow and firefighters were still trying to control the blaze and assess damage, the ministry said in a statement.

"Terrorists placed bombs and landmines around the location of the attack to prevent the technical crew from reaching the place," it said.

Iraq has seen fewer attacks against energy infrastructure following the withdrawal of U.S. forces in December 2011. But at least three bombs targeted oil storage and pipeline networks in the country's southern oilfields in 2011.

Attacks have declined as security gradually improved after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and the OPEC country has attracted more foreign investment.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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