The Associated Press March 9, 2011, 1:43PM ET

Attack on Iraq pipeline halt oil exports

A government spokesman says a bomb has hit Iraq's largest oil pipeline, halting exports to Turkey in an insurgent strike that could lead to millions of dollars in losses.

Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said gunmen planted the bomb on the Beiji pipeline Wednesday evening near the town of Shurqat, 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad.

Jihad said the blast stopped the oil from being pumped, and the pipeline would be shut down for at least three days for repairs.

He said the pipeline generally pumps about 400,000 barrels of oil each day.

But Jihad downplayed concerns, saying there are enough Iraqi oil reserves stored in Turkey to prevent massive losses.

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