Accessibility links

Breaking News

Insurgents Deliver New Blows In Iraq

Iraqi oil revenues are key to recovery (file photo) 5 July 2004 -- Attacks in Iraq have killed at least three Iraqis and wounded 11 since yesterday, while saboteurs delivered another hit to Iraq's oil infrastructure, attacking a pipeline linking the country's northern and southern oil fields.

In Baquba, 60 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, unknown attackers killed two relatives of a district leader in an overnight attack.

In the southern city of Al-Basrah, an apparent rocket attack on a police station killed one Iraqi civilian and wounded seven other civilians when the projectile hit a house next to the police station.

Radical Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose supporters staged an uprising in the Shi'a holy city of Al-Najaf earlier this year, vowed yesterday in a statement to resist oppression and occupation and said the new Iraqi government was illegitimate.

The Al-Najaf area has calmed recently, but al-Sadr's statement called resistance to occupation and oppression a "legitimate right."

Reports say fire crews and security forces worked into the night on 4-5 July to extinguish the pipeline blaze, which is about 80 kilometers southwest of Baghdad.

It was not immediately clear how the attack might affect Iraq's oil output. Iraqi oil production is considered vital to helping the new interim government raise revenues for rebuilding.

In another development, an Islamist militant group in Iraq that calls itself the Army of Ansar al-Sunna has denied that it beheaded U.S. Marine Wassef Ali Hassoun.

Earlier website statements attributed to the group said he had been beheaded.

The U.S. military says it has no evidence that Hassoun has been killed.