About 20 Iraqi pipelines sabotaged

Saboteurs have attacked about 20 oil pipelines in southern Iraq, reducing exports from the key oil producing region by at least one third, a top oil official said Thursday.

The cluster of pipelines was attacked late Wednesday in Berjasiya, 20 miles southwest of the southern city of Basra, an official with the state-run South Oil Co. said on condition of anonymity. The pipelines, which connect the Rumeila oilfields to Berjasiya, were still ablaze Thursday.

&to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2003/01/27/42609.html' target=_blank>Oil exports out of southern Iraq average about 1.85 million barrels a day. The oil official said Wednesday's sabotage cut exports to 1.2 million barrels, reports Associated Press.

Squadron leader Spike Wilson, a spokesman for British troops helping maintain security in the area, said he was only aware of one pipeline breach 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Zubayr.

He said it was not clear if that pipeline had been attacked, however.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team