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Sunday, December 21, 2003

Pipelines and storage depots attacked in Iraq
From AP:
Insurgents attacked pipelines and an oil storage depot in three parts of Iraq, setting fires that blazed for hours and lost millions of gallons of oil, officials and media reported Sunday, as the country faced a critical fuel shortage.
The Oil Ministry introduced rationing on Thursday to overcome shortages that have created mile-long lines of cars at gas stations and waits up to 12 hours. At the same time the U.S. military began to crack down on black marketeers who sell gas for as much as $1.85 a gallon. The official price equates to 5 U.S. cents a gallon.

Baghdad blogger Raed gives some details about the "crack down on black marketeers" that the AP left out (quoted verbatim):

THREE to TEN years behind bars, is what I'll get if "they" got me buying petrol from the "black market"!!!!
I was reading this arabic leaflet (full of grammar mistakes) printed and distributed last week with my eyes opened .. opened very much .. this much >>> OO
Ladies and gentlemen , you either wait for 6 hours in the gas station queue, wondering how to keep theifs and bullets away from your cars, or you'll enjoy our prisons of freedom for the rest of your life.
Other unemployed free people, you either stop drinking and selling petrol or you'll be considered as "criminals", and the new Iraqi courts will put you in freedom cells; comfortable beds with free breakfast.