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Oil Minister Blames Al-Qaida

The lost exports would have been worth about $28 million

Sunday, April 25 the Iraqi oil minister said suicide boat attack on oil facilities in the Gulf broke Iraq's two largest terminals, costing the country almost 1 million barrels of oil exports the first full day of the stoppage, said Sunday. The lost exports would have been worth some $28 million.

One of the terminals reopened Sunday, several hours after the attack, but the second, Al-Basra Oil Terminal, will not be reopened until Monday at the earliest.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Coast Guardsman wounded in the boat attacks Saturday evening died, the third American service member killed in the blasts. Four other Americans also were wounded.

Oil minister suspected al-Qaida to be responsible for the blast. Insurgents already have repeatedly attacked a northern pipeline which carries crude to Turkey.

He said: "Those who are carrying out these terror actions don't want ... prosperity for Iraq."

U.S. military officials in the Gulf were sending a team of investigators trying to determine the launching point of the attacks.

Asked whether the attackers arrived at the port by traveling from inside Iraq or from neighboring Iran or Kuwait, Navy Commander James Graybeal, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain said: "That's what we?re trying to determine."