By HASSAN HAFIDH
A pipeline carrying fuel from Iraq's largest refinery was attacked and sabotaged Wednesday by unknown assailants, the Iraqi oil ministry said.
"The attackers targeted a 16-inch fuel pipeline at 02:10 local time early on Wednesday [23:10 GMT Tuesday] stopping flow in the pipeline," the ministry said in a statement emailed to Dow Jones Newswires.
The attack hit the pipeline carrying oil from the refinery in Baiji to Mosul in northern Iraq. It's the second attack on the pipeline in less than a week, forcing the country to ship fuel by road through the northern Ninava province.
Ninava province gets all of its fuel from the damaged pipeline, which will take few days to fix.
Technical teams have started work to extinguish the fire and repair the pipeline, the ministry said.
Mosul and several other Sunni governorates have seen intense protests against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, reflecting the fears of many Sunni's that they will be marginalized by Mr. Maliki's Shiite-led government.
The protesters have called for an end to the random arrests of Sunnis and the freeing of prisoners whom they believe have been arrested without any clear charges.
The attack on the pipeline coincided with a string of bombings the recent of which rocked Kirkuk, Iraq's oil hub, late on Tuesday and around Baghdad during the weekend. Al Qaida's so-called Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for attacks that left at least 29 people dead.
Dow Jones Newswires