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Abandoned Iraqi Oil Refinery Found Underground

Abandoned Iraqi Oil Refinery Found Underground

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(Baiji, Iraq-AP) -- The discovery of an oil refinery deep in one of Iraq's most elaborate tunnel complexes has U-S troops asking one question: Why?

Why did Saddam Hussein build an entire refinery deep inside a mountain?

Blueprints suggest construction started in December 1980 -- months after the start of the Iran-Iraq war.

But whether the refinery was encased in rock for security or other reasons isn't immediately clear.

The entrance to the refinery isn't visible from the main road. The only way to get to it is through a Special Republican Guard camp.

The refinery was in one of Saddam's underground complexes that coalition forces have discovered as they move across Iraq.

The underground oil refinery appears to have been abandoned long ago.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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