Gulf Today

Militants attack oil wells in north Iraq: Ministry


KIRKUK: Militants using explosives atacked two oil wells northwest of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Saturday but no significan­t damage resulted and production was not affected, the Iraqi oil ministry said.

The atack at the Bay Hassan oilfield “did not cause a fire or damage, affect production or stop oil pumping from the well,” the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States condemned atacks this week in Iraqi Kurdistan “in the strongest terms” in a joint statement.

“Together, our government­s will support the government of Iraq’s investigat­ion into the atacks to ensure that those responsibl­e will be held accountabl­e,” they said.

The Western powers said they were “united” in the view “that atacks on US and Coalition personnel and facilities will not be tolerated and reiterate our steadfast commitment to the fight against Daesh.”

An atack on Wednesday on an airport in Arbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, was carried out by drone, according to the Kurdish interior ministry, in an unpreceden­ted escalation of the arms used to target US soldiers based there.

In a separate developmen­t, Khodeir Majid, who covered Iraq’s numerous conflicts as a video producer and cameraman for The Associated Press for over 17 years, has died, relatives said. He was 64.

The cause of death was complicati­ons due to the coronaviru­s. Majid had been hospitalis­ed for about three weeks, but his condition rapidly deteriorat­ed in the last few days and he died on Friday morning.

Majid joined the AP in Baghdad in March 2004, a year ater the Us-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. He went on to cover the breakdown in security and sectarian bloodbath that prevailed for years, as well as the US occupation, the rise of the Al Qaeda terror network, and finally, the war against the Daesh group.

Killings, kidnapping­s and bombings were an everyday occurrence, sometimes with multiple bombings on the same day.

Through it all, Majid, known as Abu Amjad to family and friends, was a beloved colleague and a calming presence in the Baghdad bureau. He was a dedicated journalist and a good friend to many, working quietly and behind-the-scenes to make sure accreditat­ion and paperwork were secured, badges were collected, interviews were nailed and stories were covered.

“Abu Amjad was a rare source of joy during difficult times working in Baghdad for the past 17 years. He will be remembered as kind and a dedicated profession­al,” said Ahmed Sami, the AP’S senior producer in Baghdad.

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