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Risking flames and mines, Iraq oil workers battle to cap burning wells

Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 01:05

Iraqi workers near Mosul risk raging flames, toxic smoke and booby traps to extinguish burning oil wells that Islamic State militants set ablaze when they were driven out of the Qayyara oil fields. Mana Rabiee reports.

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STORY: Islamic State militants set these oil wells on fire when U.S.-backed Iraqi forces pushed them out of Qayyara near Mosul back in August. Some 150 men have been trying for weeks to put out the fires and cap the wells. It's hard work. Each fire takes days to extinguish. The men have capped 7 or 8 wells --- they've got more than a dozen to go. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) SABAH IBRAHIM ALI, OIL WORKER, SAYING: "Islamic State just put explosives on the well heads and blew them up" It's also dangerous work. The men risk the flames, and toxic belching smoke -- but also booby traps and land mines the militants left behind. The danger wage is about $50 a day. But this is a vivid picture of the destruction IS has left in parts of northern Iraq... so for many of the men, putting out the fires is really about their duty to their country.

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Risking flames and mines, Iraq oil workers battle to cap burning wells

Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 01:05