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9 Jul, 2008 14:28

Oil slick threatens Far East city

Rescue services are trying to stop an oil spill from reaching a densely populated city in Russia’s Far East. Border guards spotted the two-kilometre slick in the Amur River by Russia's border with China before it flowed downstream.

It is thought the slick contains more than 500kg of fuel oil.  It is expected to reach Khabarovsk, a city of 580,000 people, within a week.

Local officials said drinking water reservoirs had so far not been affected. The source of the oil remains unknown.

A chemical spill from China into the same river network three years ago caused diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Moscow.