Repairs to Sabotaged Iraqi Pipeline Will Take 2 Weeks, say Authorities
Kirk Troy Baghdad 18 Aug 2003, 16:12 UTC
Authorities in Iraq continue attempts to repair a sabotaged oil pipeline, and U.S. authorities confirm a soldier had shot and killed a television cameraman by mistake on Sunday. U.S. authorities in Baghdad said two fires that erupted during the weekend on the main oil pipeline from Iraq to Turkey, halting exports, will take up to two weeks to repair. The U.S. military says the incidents are under investigation and that sabotage is a possible cause. The pipeline started operating Wednesday for the first time since the war began, and it managed to run for only two days before the first rupture occurred. The military also confirmed that a U.S. soldier had shot and killed a Reuters television cameraman Sunday at a prison outside Baghdad. A spokesman said the soldier had mistaken the camera for a rocket launcher, despite journalists having previously asked permission to film the area. The cameraman, Mazen Dana, was a veteran of working in conflicts, being from the Palestinian town of Hebron where he worked for Reuters for nearly a decade. U.S. authorities described the shooting as a tragic accident. A water pipeline blown up in Baghdad on Sunday cut service to nearly 300,000 people on the north side of the capital. A fountain of water from the pipe flooded the immediate area, and the local water company said it had to shut off water to the entire city for a time to isolate the damaged section. The pipe was reported to have been repaired Monday, although many residents in the area affected said they were still without water. Efforts to export Iraqi crude have been hampered by outdated equipment and repeated sabotage by guerrillas said to be loyal to the regime of deposed leader Saddam Hussein. U.S. forces and the appointed Iraqi governing council have tried to speed up the repair of pipelines, to generate the income needed to help rebuild the country.