LUKoil Field Attacked

BASRA, Iraq — Hundreds of local protesters blocked a main entrance of Iraq's giant southern West Qurna-2 oilfield on Tuesday, operated by Russia's LUKoil, demanding jobs in a sign of the growing challenges facing foreign firms operating in the south.

Around 500 angry protesters gathered at the main entrance, demanding Lukoil supply jobs and compensation for land where it operates. Police said the situation was under control and demonstrators did not try to break into the field.

"We are protesting to get our rights. We have decided to block the entrance until field officials address our demands," said Mizhir al-Rwemi, a spokesman for protesters.

An official at the state-run South Oil Company said it was not the first such protest. "We are trying to deal discretely with them," the official said.

(Reuters)