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A source from security forces in Iraq has told Bloomberg that they have just foiled an attempted al Qaeda plan to pack Oil tanker trucks full of explosives and then drive them into a major oil facility in Baghdad before detonating the bombs.
The exact facility was not named as the investigation into the attack is still on-going, but it may have been one of three key oil facilities in the area, that include the Doura oil refinery, an oilfield to the east of Baghdad, and a gas facility to the north.
Bloomberg reported that violence in the country has increased this year as al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq, and other Sunni Islamist militant groups have increased the number of attacks in an attempt to encourage a widespread sectarian conflict.
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National security forces have been on high alert after a series of attacks against a key pipeline that carries oil from Iraq’s northern oilfields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
With the world’s fourth largest oil reserves, oil infrastructure is vitally important to Iraq’s plans to rebuild the country after years of war since the 2003 US invasion. Over the coming years Iraq hopes to boost its oil production to similar levels as Saudi Arabia and Russia.
A senior official said that they “have arrested a key local leader of al Qaeda who organised the plan to launch a major attack against a large oil facility in Baghdad.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com