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Iraqi and Iranian forces are dug in on either side of a disputed inactive oil well in the sensitive border area, with Iraqis vowing to fight if necessary to fend off another occupation of the well by Iranian soldiers.
Iraqi troops say they will defend the well, where Iranian troops raised a flag for several days this month.
It is unclear how many troops are involved in the stand-off, but as many as 30 lightly armed Iraqi troops usually occupy border outposts in sensitive areas, and up to 10 in other areas. Some 11 Iranian soldiers are stationed near the disputed well.
The seizure of the well, which Iraq says is part of its Fakka oilfield in southeast Maysan province, triggered protests from the government in Baghdad and caused a rise in prices on jittery world oil markets.
The Iranian forces have since pulled back, but Iraq says they are still on its territory, stirring echoes of the border dispute that led to the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, in which about 1 million people died.
"These wells in the Fakka region are Iraqi, and we will defend them to the last drop of blood," said Brigadier-General Razak Abdul Hassan of the Iraqi border guards at Fakka