Source AP ©

Iraqi police: Bomb damages oil pipeline south of Baghdad

A bomb exploded Friday under an oil pipeline south of Baghdad, spilling crude oil and sparking a huge fire, Iraqi police said.

The explosives were planted under a pipeline in the al-Mowehlah area of Haswa, a town 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the Iraqi capital, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

The pipeline transmit crude oil from Iraq's southern oil fields to the Dora refinery in Baghdad.

The blast ignited a huge fire around 5 a.m., the officer said. By midday, firefighters were still struggling to extinguish the flames, which were fueled by a continuing leak of oil from the pipeline, he said. Workers were also looking for a way to temporarily cut off the oil flow, until a repair could be made, the officer added.

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