Iraq says Exxon Mobil staff are evacuating

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An Iraqi oil official says employees of energy giant Exxon Mobil have started evacuating an oil field in the southern province of Basra.

The evacuation comes amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said all those who are being evacuated are foreigners or Iraqis who hold other nationalities.

The official did not give numbers but said the first group left two days ago and another batch left early Saturday.

Exxon Mobil, headquartered in Irving, Texas, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. has already ordered all nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq.

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