Baghdad: The Islamic State (IS) militants on Wednesday set fire to three oil wells near the town of Qayyara, which Iraqi forces freed from the IS late last month in south Mosul, an official said.
“The IS terrorist group planted bombs in three oil wells of Najma oilfield, which is still under the IS control, and blew them up in the early morning,” Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying.
The blasts ignited enormous fires in Najma oilfield, north of Qayyara town, sending black smoke above the town and nearby villages, the official said.
Earlier in the month, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said that fires were put out at six oil wells in and around Qayyara.
The fires were set off by militants before they fled Qayyara when security forces advanced on the town.
The ministry said several other oil wells were still on fire but they were outside the control of the security forces and will be extinguished as soon as the troops regain control.
On August 25, Iraqi security forces freed Qayyara, a strategic town supposed to be used as a staging ground for a major offensive to liberate the last major IS stronghold in Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.