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In oil-rich Basra, shanty towns swellFrom his small home nestled alongside train tracks in the southern Iraqi province of Basra, Sultan Nayef looks out at plumes of smoke billowing across an expanse of oil fields. Like thousands of others, the unemployed 25-year-old moved to oil-rich Basra in the hope of finding work in the energy industry, Iraq's primary source of wealth.Absent of any urban planning or public services, Basra's informal settlements are an anarchic clutter of breeze-block homes and ad-hoc electricity wires.At the time, there were more than 48,500 informal homes in the province, said Zahra al-Jebari, head of urban planning at Basra's provincial council.Basra authorities say they lose money every time a home is built illegally, as Baghdad bases provincial budgets on the number of officially registered residents.
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