'Kirkuk oil fields may have been secured' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Kirkuk oil fields may have been secured'

US special forces may have secured the Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq, the BBC said on Friday, quoting unnamed intelligence sources.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2003 15:44 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

US special forces may have secured the Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq, the BBC said on Friday, quoting unnamed intelligence sources.

"The oil fields of Kirkuk which are the busiest in Iraq may have been already secured by American special forces," correspondent John Simpson told BBC World television from the region's front line.

He said the BBC could not verify the intelligence report of the oilfields' capture.

"It's from that direction we've been hearing all the firing and the activity this morning and that may lend a certain amount of currency to the idea."

"It may be that there's an attempt on to capture them at the moment... There is certainly military activity in the direction of the Kirkuk oil fields,"Simpson said.

A US official said earlier this month that Iraq had placed explosives at the Kirkuk oilfields to prevent them being captured in the event of a US invasion.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have encircled the city of Kirkuk, which is heavily defended by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's forces.