Iraqi oil pipelines blown up
* Iraq judges quiz ‘Chemical Ali’ in landmark hearing
* Gunmen kill daughter, son-in-law of former Iraq president, kidnap grandson
* 13 Iraqis killed in other violence
BAIJI: Saboteurs have struck Iraq’s oil infrastructure five times in 24 hours after a voice identified as Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden ordered followers to sabotage the West’s key supplies.
The saboteurs hit pipelines serving both Iraq’s northern and southern oilfields and halted the flow of crude to Baghdad’s Daura refinery, interrupting the production of refined fuel, the oil ministry said.
One of the attacks was claimed by an Islamic militant group loyal to Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda Organisation of Mesopotamia. A leaflet distributed in Baiji said the sabotage had been carried out in response to Thursday’s Internet message from the Al Qaeda chief, in which followers were ordered to strike oil facilities in Iraq and the Gulf.
Oil ministry spokesman Jihad Assem condemned the upsurge in “terrorist acts” which he said were depriving Iraqis of essential fuel and the country of desperately needed revenues. Also in Baiji, four American contractors were wounded in an early morning blast. Gunmen fatally shot two men, apparently Iraqis, in execution-style slayings in Baiji, police Captain Hakim Ali said.
In Mosul, one Iraqi was killed and eight wounded by a bomb targeting a US patrol, medics and a witness said. A US spokesman said the blast hit a school bus. Two people were killed and eight wounded in a mortar attack on an election office north of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said.
In the rebel stronghold of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, police said three people were killed and two wounded in clashes between US troops and insurgents. In Samarra, north of the capital, at least five Iraqis were killed as a rash of attacks rocked the city.
A suicide bomber blew up his vehicle close to a US patrol base, which the US military said killed only the driver. Police said four Iraqis were killed as troops clashed with the insurgents. At least one officer also died in an assault on a police station in the city. Gunmen killed the daughter and son-in-law of former Iraqi president Abdel Salam Aref and abucted his 20-year-old grandson Rafel from their Baghdad home, police said on Saturday.
The attack happened on Monday evening in the city’s western Dakhliya neighbourhood, an officer told AFP, asking not to be named. The assailants left a statement proclaiming: “This is the fate reserved for traitors.”
Aref was head of state from 1963 to his death in 1966. Iraqi judges questioned one of Saddam Hussein’s most infamous lieutenants on Saturday as they began investigative hearings of top officials of his ousted regime. Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as ‘Chemical Ali’ for his alleged role in the gassing of Kurdish civilians, appeared alongside former defence minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed at the landmark hearing before the Iraq Special Tribunal.
Chief magistrate Rayed Juhi told reporters that both defendants had legal representation at the hearing, the first since Saddam and the other 11 former officials in custody were formally charged in July. agencies