Attacks on Iraqi oil facilities decreasing: Bolton

Attacks on Iraqi oil facilities decreasing: Bolton
September 15th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Attacks on Iraqi oil facilities decreasing: Bolton

Attacks on Iraqi oil facilities decreasing: Bolton
Byline: Irwin Arieff
Date: September 14, 2006

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Attacks on Iraq's oil industry and other critical
public facilities have decreased but are still crimping the country's
revenues and power generation, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said on Thursday.

The number of attacks on such facilities fell to an average of two per week
in the latest quarter, compared to five weekly during the previous three
months, Bolton told the U.N. Security Council in a status report on Iraq.

"Although the number of attacks is decreasing, the essential services
infrastructure will continue to be a high-value target for enemy elements,"
he said, pledging the U.S.-led multinational force would keep working with
the Iraqi government to improve security.

In an unusually blunt assessment of the challenges confronting Iraq nearly
three and a half years after the March 2003 invasion that topped Saddam
Hussein, Bolton said violence posed significant challenges to stability,
reconstruction and the transition to Iraqi security forces.

Insurgent and sectarian tensions had increased, spurring more killings,
kidnappings and attacks on civilians and driving more people from their
homes, he said.

"The insurgency remains potent and viable, although its visibility has been
overshadowed by the increase in sectarian violence it has sought to foment,"
he said.

In the U.S. drive to gradually turn security over to Iraqi forces, more than
115,000 Iraqi soldiers, 118,000 police and 65,000 other Interior Ministry
forces had been trained, Bolton said.

Ashraf Qazi, who heads the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, said the country
was today "one of the most violent conflict areas in the world."

"The Iraqi people have every right to expect their elected leaders to
reverse their worrisome trends which could endanger the social and political
fabric of the country," he said.

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