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Middle East World

Rockets hit oil industry district in southern Iraq, no casualties

FILE PHOTO: The Nahr Bin Umar oil field, that is close to Basra, Iraq March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani/File Photo

Rockets landed near the US Halliburton site early on Monday but caused no damage or casualties, police sources said.

Police said the three Katyusha rockets, launched at around 3 a.m. local time, hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Iraq’s main southern city Basra.

Rockets landed near a district that houses foreign workers in Iraq’s oil industry early on Monday, including U.S. oil service company Halliburton, but caused no damage or casualties, oil and police sources said.

Police said three Katyusha rockets were launched around 3 a.m. local time and hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Iraq’s main southern city, Basra. A launcher and 11 unfired rockets were found nearby and dismantled by security forces, according to the statement.

An Iraqi employee working with Halliburton said the rockets fell far from the site. The district houses foreign oil workers and offices of both foreign and Iraqi oil companies, but has been largely empty in recent weeks after nearly all foreign personnel were evacuated because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two officials with state-run Basra Oil Co., which oversees oil operation in the south, said the attack had not affected production and export operations.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Police said they deployed additional forces to search the area.

Iran-backed paramilitary groups have regularly been rocketing and shelling bases in Iraq that host U.S. forces and the area around the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

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