US `hits Iraqi oil pipeline' in attack

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BAGHDAD ACCUSED American bombers yesterday of destroying the oil pipeline between Turkey and Iraq.

The US planes hit a pumping station in northern Iraq, killing one Iraqi and wounding two others seriously, government officials said.

In Turkey, an official at Ceyhan oil terminal confirmed that the flow of crude oil had stopped. The pipeline runs from the northern Iraqi field of Kirkuk to the south Turkish port.

Iraq said the dead man had worked with the United Nations oil-for-food programme, which monitors flow through the pipeline.

"A criminal attack by the enemy today caused extensive damage to the station which controls the flow of oil through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline, stopping the flow," Baghdad media said.

Iraq is exporting 2.1 million barrels of oil a day under the oil-for- food programme. The agreement enables Baghdad to sell oil on condition that the revenue is spent on food, medicine and humanitarian goods.

Earlier yesterday, the US fighters attacked Iraqi military installations after planes patrolling the "no-fly" zone over northern Iraq came under fire, a US military official said. US and British planes, which patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones, have been striking Iraqi military sites almost every day since late December.