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Report: Another Iraqi oil pipeline in flames

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It is expected to take about a week to restore the flow of oil to Turkey.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. military is investigating eyewitness reports that another oil pipeline in Iraq is in flames, and may have been sabotaged, military officials told CNN Sunday.

U.S. Central Command said pilots reported the fire northwest of the city of Mosul, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

U.S. and Iraqi administrators are now investigating the report to determine if this is another act of sabotage to Iraq's oil infrastructure.

This news comes just one day after another oil pipeline was sabotaged and set aflame, apparently by supporters of the deposed regime of Saddam Hussein.

That pipeline runs from an oil field near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan. It is expected that it will take about a week to restore the flow of oil to that pipeline.

U.S. administrators in Iraq say restoring the oil industry infrastructure and getting Iraqi oil to market is vital to jump-starting the economy there.

Prior to the war, U.S. and British military planners anticipated that Iraqi forces would try to ignite and sabotage the oil-producing infrastructure as the coalition forces advanced toward Baghdad in an effort to create a scorched earth environment for the invading army.

U.S. and British special forces units went to some lengths to secure the oil fields in southern Iraq before they could be torched, and were largely successful in halting the effort.

A small number of oil wells in southern Iraq were set ablaze by Iraqi forces but were quickly extinguished after coalition forces secured the areas.


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