Continuing threat of tanker attacks, oil field sabotage underscore industry worries as war rages in Iraq

A continuing potential threat to Persian Gulf shipping tied to the war in Iraq has spiked tanker insurance rates sharply.The apparent discovery of plans or attempts by Iraqi forces to target vessels in the Persian Gulf for attack has increased fears in a region where tanker traffic already had slowed because of the onset of hostilities in Iraq.Especially chilling was the discovery of Iraqi mines and explosives-laden speedboats in waters near Iraq's main gulf ports (OGJ, Mar. 31, 2003, p. 22).Those developments follow earlier concerns voiced by shipping and military officials over possible terrorist attacks targeting shipping, such as those by the Al-Qaeda group off Yemen in recent yea...

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