Sabotage stops Iraqi oil flow

1 decade 1 year 3 weeks ago August 29, 2005 Aug 29, 2005 Monday, August 29 2005 Monday, August 29, 2005 10:54:24 AM CDT in News

D'Angelo said a main pipeline along the Faw Peninsula was badly damaged by an explosion earlier Tuesday.

A second pipeline was shut off as a precautionary measure until engineers repair fractured piping.

Iraq's two offshore terminals were themselves the target of an attack by suicide bombers in April. The attack failed but two U.S. sailors and a U.S. Coast Guard member were killed.

It's not known how long supplies will be cut. CPA South said there was heavy damage from the explosion and the subsequent fire, which was put out by Iraqi firemen and Iraqi security forces.

Last week, a number of pipeline attacks were reported over a three-day period, with the major attack on the line between Kirkuk and Turkey.

After those attacks, Iraq's interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, said Iraq has lost "more than $200 million in revenues" because of insurgent attacks on the country's oil infrastructure.

More than 130 attacks have targeted Iraq's oil infrastructure in the past seven months.

Other violence continued Tuesday with an attack on a three-vehicle, coalition-contractor convoy west of Baghdad near the airport.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said there were reports that two people were killed.

President Bush repeated his administration's claim that Iraq was in league with al Qaeda under Saddam Hussein's rule, saying Tuesday that fugitive Islamic militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the link tying Saddam with the terrorist network.

"Zarqawi's the best evidence of a connection to al Qaeda affiliates and al Qaeda," Bush told reporters at the White House. "He's the person who's still killing."

U.S. officials blame Zarqawi for a series of attacks on U.S. forces, Iraqi civilians and others since the American-led invasion of Iraq, including the April beheading of American businessman Nicholas Berg and the August 2003 bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

Iraqi leader: Saddam transfer talks 'progressing well'

Bush said the United States is working with the Iraqi interim government on a schedule for the transfer of Saddam Hussein to its custody.

Appearing Tuesday at a news conference with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Bush said he wants to make sure Saddam will be able to appear in court after the handover occurs.

"We're working with the Iraqi government on a couple of issues," he said. "One is the appropriate time for the transfer of Saddam Hussein. And secondly, we're working to make sure there's appropriate security.

"One thing, obviously, is that we don't want, and I know the Iraqi interim government doesn't want, is there to be lax security and for Saddam Hussein to somehow not stand trial for the horrendous murders and torture that he inflicted upon the Iraqi people."

Iraq's interim prime minister said Tuesday the fledgling government is actively talking with coalition authorities for the handover of the former Iraqi president.

"Negotiations are under way and are progressing well," said Allawi in an interview on CNN's American Morning.

Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor labeled the talks between the coalition and the interim government as a "discussion," rather than a negotiation.

But, Senor said, it is the coalition's priority to get Saddam into "Iraqi hands as soon as possible."

Under international law, Saddam cannot be handed over to a government that is not yet sovereign, Senor said. Also, a handover of Saddam doesn't have to be made until there is a cessation of active hostilities -- but it doesn't have to be a complete end to fighting.

Sovereignty is scheduled to be restored to the interim Iraqi government at midnight June 30.

When asked why Saddam hasn't been charged yet, Senor said that once the Iraqi war crimes tribunal builds its case and establishes evidence, "they will file the formal charges."

Asked what Saddam's status will be after June 30, Senor said that "technically" he could still be a "prisoner of war" because the war will probably be continuing.

But, he said, that does not preclude war crimes charges being filed against him.

Pentagon officials said that until they are confident Iraqi forces can prove they can keep Saddam -- and the thousands of detainees -- safe, the United States would continue to hold them.

Saddam was captured by U.S. troops December 13 near his ancestral home of Tikrit, where he was hiding in a "spider hole." U.S. officials have described Saddam as being less than cooperative during his interrogations.

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