Baghdad, Aug. 17 (Reuters): A fresh wave of sabotage and violence took its toll on Iraq today as a second blaze hit a crucial oil export pipeline, a water pipeline was blown up and six Iraqis were killed in a mortar attack on a Baghdad prison.
A Danish soldier was also killed as he tried to stop looting last night.
Iraq’s crucial oil export pipeline to Turkey, which saboteurs attacked two days ago, was ablaze again today following another blast. A North Oil Company official at the scene said it was caused by an explosion last night. The fire was near the site of Friday’s blaze which officials blamed on a bomb.
Iraq’s governor said today the country’s tottering economy was losing $7 million a day due to the attack on the pipeline.
In other violence, the US military said six Iraqis were killed and 59 wounded in a mortar bomb attack on a US-guarded prison on the western outskirts of Baghdad last night. “Three prisoners died on the scene and three others died in hospital,” a US army spokesperson said. About 500 Iraqi detainees, including common criminals and suspected anti-American guerrillas, are being held at Abu Ghraib prison, one of Saddam Hussein’s most notorious jails. It was not clear who was behind the attack.
In southern Iraq, where rampant looting of copper electricity cables has caused widespread blackouts and slashed oil output, a Danish soldier was killed last evening in a gun battle with thieves who had been stealing power lines.
He was the first foreign soldier not from the US or British military to be killed in Iraq since the launch of the invasion that toppled Saddam in April. A military spokesperson said the incident happened west of Basra after a routine Danish patrol tried to arrest eight Iraqi looters.
Major Ian Poole, spokesperson for the British military in Basra, said two of the Iraqis were also killed in the battle and the remaining six were arrested.
Saboteurs also blew up a water pipeline serving the north of Baghdad today, flooding streets with a cascade of water. Locals said they had been woken by a loud blast and saw a car speeding from the scene. “This was an act of sabotage,” Assam Othman, chief engineer for the area’s water system, said at the scene. “It does not hurt the Americans, it hurts ordinary Iraqi people.”
Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana was shot dead today near the Abu Ghraib prison, witnesses said. A spokesperson for Iraq’s US-led administration confirmed a journalist had been killed and said an investigation was under way.
Witnesses said Dana, a Palestinian who has worked for Reuters for a decade, was filming outside the prison in western Baghdad when he was shot.