U.S. to hire 11,500 to guard Iraqi oil pipeline

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The United States has launched a new effort to protect Iraq's oil sector from sabotage.

U.S. officials said the Coalition Provisional Authority plans to deploy 11,500 guards to protect the Iraqi oil pipeline to Turkey. The 1,000-kilometer Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has been repeatedly sabotaged by forces loyal to deposed President Saddam Hussein.

So far, about 5,000 Iraq security guards have been deployed around the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the CPA will hire another 6,500 Iraqi guards.

Over the weekend, the pipeline came under two attacks that suspended operations. Officials said repairs of the pipeline could take weeks.

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