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Black smoke, suspicion hang heavy over Iraq's Qayyarah

More than two months after the liberation of Qayyarah from the Islamic State, the oil wells the militants set ablaze continue to blacken the town with toxic smoke.

QAYYARAH, Iraq — From the Makhmour military base, the route to Qayyarah crosses the Tigris River via a pontoon bridge that stops service at 6 p.m. and doesn't open again until late morning, after the road has been checked for improvised explosive devices planted overnight.

The town of Qayyarah, located 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Mosul, and its still-burning oil wells were retaken from the Islamic State by Iraqi troops Aug. 25, after government forces managed to claw back the nearby Qayyarah West Airfield on July 9.

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