November 25, 2010 / 7:43 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Two killed as fire guts tankers on Iraq-Jordan border

(Adds details, quote from witness)

AMMAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - A fire on the Iraqi-Jordanian border set 20 oil tankers ablaze on Thursday, killing at least two people, border and security officials said.

A Jordanian public security source told Reuters the incident, which took place in a Jordanian desert along the Iraqi border, was not security-related.

Petra news agency separately quoted a Jordanian security spokesman as saying that at least two people were killed and several others missing after a tanker caught fire while unloading oil. Twelve people have been rescued, he said.

A witness on the border told Reuters he saw tall flares and heavy smoke billowing from the tankers.

“Even though it was dark we could see black smoke in the sky above us,” said Abdullah Jaber, a driver on the border.

An Iraqi army source said separately that three Iraqi drivers were killed.

The border has seen relative calm since insurgent attacks dropped dramatically from a peak in the first few years following the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Iraq exports 10,000 barrels per day of crude oil to Jordan, or roughly 10 percent of its energy needs. (Additional reporting by Baghdad Bureau) (Writing by Suleiman al-Khalidi; editing by Maria Golovnina)

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