EXCLUSIVE-Islamic State militants seize wheat from state silos – Iraq Grain Board – RTRS 8/13/2014

EXCLUSIVE-Islamic State militants seize wheat from state silos – Iraq Grain Board – RTRS

 

13-Aug-2014 07:30

 

    CAIRO/ABU DHABI, Aug 13 (Reuters) – A top Iraqi government

grains official said on Wednesday that Islamic State militants

are taking wheat from state silos in northern and western Iraq,

in order to mill it there and in neighbouring Syria.

    Hassan Ibrahim, Director General of the Grain Board of Iraq,

the Trade Ministry body responsible for procuring Iraq’s wheat

internationally and from local farmers, told Reuters the

militants had seized wheat in recent weeks from government silos

in the provinces of Nineveh and Anbar.

    Between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes of the crop was taken from

government silos in Tal Afar and Sinjar in Nineveh Province,

where hundreds of thousands of residents, many of them ethnic

and religious minorities, have fled the militant onslaught.

    Militants seized a further 700 tonnes from storage sites in

the western province of Anbar in the past three weeks and took

it across the border into Islamic State-held areas in Syria for

milling, he said.

    Ibrahim said militants tried to sell wheat stolen from

Nineveh back to the government in other provinces.

    “For this reason I stopped purchasing wheat from farmers

last Thursday,” he added.

    Iraq’s grain board normally stops farmer purchases from the

annual harvest at the end of August.   

  

 

 

 

 

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