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Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra

Christian Fernsby |
A rocket struck the site of the residential and operations headquarters of several global major oil companies, including U.S. giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra, wounding three people.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility. It came after two separate attacks in as many days on bases housing U.S. military personnel in Iraq, as tension rose between the United States and Iran.

The rocket hit the Burjesia site west of the city, according to police and a statement released by the military. Police earlier said two Iraqi workers were wounded.

The United States evacuated hundreds of diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy last month, citing unspecified threats from Iran against U.S. interests in neighboring Iraq, where Tehran supports some Shi’ite militias.

Wednesday’s incident came just as Exxon staff who were also evacuated after the diplomats’ departure had begun to return to Basra.

A security source said Exxon was evacuating 21 foreign staff immediately by plane to Dubai.

Oil officials said operations including exports from southern Iraq were not affected by the incident.


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