Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Iraq oil profits reportedly used to back militants

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi oil ministry has uncovered illegal operations whereby oil products were sold and profits were pooled into financing local militancy, Al Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the Minister for Oil, Hussein Al Shahristany, ‘the ministry discovered operations where oil extracts from the Bayji refinery were sold, and the money was directed to terror elements who commit acts of sabotage.’

Some of those held responsible for the criminal operations were dismissed while others were referred to investigative courts and committees, said the minister.

The oil refinery at Bayji, 200 kilometres north of Baghdad, produces on average 700,000 barrels per day.

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