Learning English - Words in the News
11 June, 2007 - Published 13:36 GMT
More severe petrol shortages in Iraq
Iraq is again suffering from severe petrol shortages with many people saying the situation is worse since the US and British invasion. Iraq has the world's third largest reserves of oil, but thousands of people now queue for as long as a day at petrol stations. Andrew North reports from Baghdad:
This is a petrol station in central Baghdad and as far as I can see along the street outside, there are cars lined up waiting for fuel. There are literally hundreds, their owners hoping the petrol won't run out before it's their turn. Fuel shortages have become a fact of life for Iraqis since the US and British invasion despite their country's vast oil reserves.
But the situation has got a lot worse in the past month or so. Many people now start queuing the night before. It's also dangerous. As the queues have grown they've become a magnet for insurgent attacks. There were two bombings aimed at petrol queues on Sunday with at least ten people killed and injured. With electricity as unreliable as ever, people need fuel not just for cars but generators at home, essential to power air conditioners to cope with the rising summer heat.
But petrol supplies into the capital have been badly disrupted, the government says, by recent attacks on several key bridges. Extra army checkpoints set up to prevent more such bombings have made things worse with many fuel trucks not being allowed through. Supplies are still getting through to the black market though, where petrol is more than double the price.
Andrew North, BBC News
a fact of life
vast oil reserves
the black market