Iraqis forced to abandon homes near oil pipeline

A group of Baghdad residents forced to leave the homes they built over an oil pipeline are crying foul. The Iraqi government says the move is for their own good.
Iraqis forced to abandon homes near oil pipeline
Iraqis are being removed from their Baghdad neighborhood because their homes were illegally built near an oil pipeline. (CARMEN GENTILE/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - In a Baghdad neighborhood once rife with sectarian violence, Iraq's Oil Police are forcing residents from homes that were constructed illegally over an oil pipeline.

Nearly 400 families in the southeast Baghdad neighborhood of Zafraniya were informed by authorities that their homes must be torn down and the residents relocated due to the dangers of living above the pipeline, which is buried just three feet below the dry, earthen streets. Oil Police policy maintains that any dwelling must be at least 35 feet from the line to ensure the safety of inhabitants in the event of a rupture or explosion.

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