As the Gulf War entered its seventh week, the Iraqis gained a propaganda coup on Friday (31 October) by ambushing and capturing the Iranian Oil Minister Mohammed Javad Tondguyan.
SV IRAQ: ZOOM INTO Iranian Oil Minister Mohammed Javad Tondguyan in captivity
GV IRAN: Iraqi tanks in streets of Abadan (2 shots)
SV Iraqi troops and armoured jeeps with missiles and rocket launchers crossing make-shift bridge (3 shots)
SV Iraqi troops carrying ammunition
CU IRAQI: President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad hospital talking to injured troops (3 shots)
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Background: As the Gulf War entered its seventh week, the Iraqis gained a propaganda coup on Friday (31 October) by ambushing and capturing the Iranian Oil Minister Mohammed Javad Tondguyan. The Iranian State Radio claimed that Mr. Tondguyan and Deputy Minister Behrouz Busheri, with four other people, were kidnapped while taking a side road to the besieged oil refining town of Abadan.
SYNOPSIS: After his capture, Mr. Tondguyan was taken to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The 30-year-old petroleum technologist was appointed Oil Minister only three days after the fighting began and Iraqi forces pushed into Iran's oil-producing Khuzestan province. No details have been reported, but he was said to have been trying to reach oil workers at the Abadan refinery.
The Iraqis reportedly began to penetrate the refinery city on Saturday (1 November), moving tanks and heavy artillery into the residential areas.
Iranian troops were reported to have destroyed the bridge across the Bahmanshir river. But the Iraqis used a mobile bridge on Saturday (1 November) to cross the river and enter Abadan's Zulfaqar district. Abadan has been one of their main targets since the war started.
On Monday (3 November), Teheran Radio reported that their troops had beaten off Iraqi attempts to enter the city, and had recaptured some areas, driving the enemy back several kilometres.
In Baghdad, President Saddam Hussein visited some of his injured troops. Casualty figures of both armies remain undisclosed Radio reports from both Teheran and Baghdad are making the standard assessments--heavy losses for the other side, and minimum casualties for their own. Iraq issued fresh warnings, to the United States on Sunday (1 November) not to supply arms to Iran. Baghdad said that, if an arms-for-hostages deal was made, it would consider it a breach of U.S. neutrality.