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Sabotage Suspected in Damage to Iraq Oil Pipeline, Water Main


Officials in Iraq say a second fire has erupted on a key pipeline carrying oil to Turkey. There was also an apparent attack on the Baghdad water supply.

The second oil line fire broke out late Saturday, not far from the scene of the first incident, which happened Friday. The two blazes sent smoke billowing into the air, and authorities say sabotage is suspected.

Even before the second blaze was reported, U.S. officials in Baghdad estimated it would take as much as two weeks to get oil running again. The pipeline started operating Wednesday, for the first time since the war began.

In Baghdad, a main water line serving the northern sector of the city was blown up, cutting supplies to that part of town. The Red Cross said that up to 300,000 people in Baghdad are without water.

Army officials also confirmed that three mortars were fired Saturday into the Abu Grahib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad, killing six Iraqi detainees and injuring many more. About 500 prisoners, including common criminals and suspected anti-American guerillas, are housed in tents, while the main prison building is being renovated.

Military authorities also confirmed that one Danish soldier and two Iraqis were killed Saturday in a firefight north of Basra. Until now, all coalition casualties have been American or British. Denmark has a contingent of 400 troops in Iraq.

Efforts to export Iraqi crude have been hampered by outdated equipment and continual sabotage by guerrillas said to be loyal to the regime of Saddam Hussein. U.S. forces and the appointed Iraqi governing council have tried to speed up the repair of pipelines, in order to generate the income needed to help rebuild the country.

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