Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Zarqawi 'injured', 3 US dead and Oil exports cut

Today [Tuesday], a website attributed to Al Qeada in Iraq reported the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Al Zarqawi as being injured. Of course, as many reporters have pointed out, there is no real way of confirming this. CNN also iterated a number of previous statements which seemingly turned out to be false. One such ‘rumour’ was that Zarqawi had died. Besides messages posted on websites and statements issued by US authorities, there is little information surrounding this individual. In fact the first time his name came to light was when the US authorities named him as a wanted insurgent back in 2003. Since then an unseen man, claiming to be Zarqawi has issued statements via a website. The veracity of these claims can only be the subject of speculation.

In other news from the region a Georgian soldier was injured by a mine during a journey to Bakuba from Baghdad. There are currently 850 Georgian servicemen in Iraq. Three US soldiers were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in central Baghdad and a police convoy was also targeted elsewhere in the city killing two civilians and injuring eight others. Also in Baghdad, Nassir Sa'ed Al-Sayfi, an employee of Oman's embassy, was kidnapped but no message from his captors thus far. In Mosul an Iraqi bomb disposal engineer was killed whilst attempting to defuse an explosive device. Three others were injured in this incident. The total US losses now stand at 1,644. CNN

And ABC reports a suspension of oil exports to Turkey. They have halted due to low outputs in the Kirkuk oil fields. The northern pipeline and facilities are regularly sabotaged by insurgents. In the south, Iraq's oil output has fallen by nearly 190,000 barrels a day since Monday “because of technical problems”, said an Oil Ministry official, who “asked not to be named for security reasons”. Oil exports from the south have been averaging 1.4 million -1.5 million barrels a day. Northern oil production has been averaging 500,000 barrels per day.
[18:34 GMT 24/05/2005]

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