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At Least 36 Killed in Iraq Oil Pipeline Fire - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DIWANIYAH, Iraq (AFP) -At least 36 people were killed when an old fuel pipeline caught fire near the southern Iraqi city of Diwaniyah.

“We have six bodies in two city hospitals and more than 30 charred bodies are still at the site of the explosion,” said Hamid Taathi, head of Diwaniyah’s health department.

A defence ministry official said the pipeline had not been used since 2003 but still contained some fuel and that local residents often cut holes in it to siphon off petrol, which currently is in short supply.

“Today also they did the same thing when the explosion was set off,” he said on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

Earlier Diwaniyah local councillor Ghanim Dahash blamed saboteurs for the blast on the pipeline in Afak district which used to carry petrol (gasoline) from southern Iraqi oil fields to the capital.

Diwaniyah was the scene of violent clashes between the Iraqi army and militia fighters from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army on Monday.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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