A rocket hit the site of several global major oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding three Iraqi workers.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. It came after two separate attacks in as many days on bases housing US military personnel in Iraq, as tensions escalate between the United States and Iran.
The rocket hit the Burjesia site west of the city, according to police and a statement released by the military. Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italy’s Eni SpA, the oil officials said.
Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile that landed 100 meters from the section of the site used as a residence and operations centre by Exxon.
The United States evacuated hundreds of diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy last month, citing unspecified threats from Iran against U.S. interests in neighbouring Iraq, where Tehran supports some Shi’ite militias.
Wednesday’s incident came just as Exxon staff who were also evacuated after the diplomats’ departure had begun to return to Basra.
A security source said Exxon was evacuating 21 foreign staff immediately by plane to Dubai.
Oil officials said operations including exports from southern Iraq were not affected by the incident.