Militants bomb oil equipment yard in Iraq -sources

MOSUL, Iraq Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56am EST

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MOSUL, Iraq Jan 12 (Reuters) - Gunmen wearing military uniforms bombed an equipment storage yard belonging to Angola's national oil company near an oilfield in northern Iraq, police sources said on Thursday.

No one was hurt in the attack, which occurred on Wednesday night near the Najmah field, about 330 km (205 miles) north of Baghdad, in restive Nineveh province, the sources said.

Angola's Sonangol won deals to develop the Najmah and Qayara oilfields in late 2009 as Iraq contracted with international firms to develop its reserves. The fields are near the city of Mosul, an area known as an al Qaeda stronghold.

The gunmen ordered the guards to leave the equipment yard and planted bombs that damaged nine machines, the police sources said.

Police detained ten guards for questioning.

"We think the guards are involved in this," a senior military source said.

Violence in Iraq has ebbed since the sectarian strife of 2006-07 but bombings and other attacks still occur daily. Tensions have been running high in recent weeks after the Shi'ite-led government moved to arrest a Sunni vice president, leading to concerns of renewed sectarian conflict. (Reporting by Jamal al-Badrani; Writing by Aseel Kami; Editing by Jim Loney and Anthony Barker)

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