Gas Pipe Explodes, Kills 3 in Iraq
At least three people were killed, including two children, and over 50 were injured in a gas pipeline explosion on Saturday near the city of Samawah in southern Iraq. According to the Baghdad government, the damaged section had experienced minor leaks in the past. Gas supply to the area was shut down as firefighters fought to contain the blaze. Iraq’s deputy oil minister promised an investigation into the incident would be launched immediately, while security officials noted the pipeline ran near a Shi’ite militia camp. Although the pipe supplies several power stations in the area, including an important one near the capital of Baghdad, energy officials assured the public that the blast would not significantly affect production. Iraq has seen mass protests over power shortages and blackouts erupt across the country in past years, including over the summer of 2020. Tens of thousands have demonstrated, with two protesters killed in August and several police officers and demonstrators injured.