Blast hits Iran-Turkey gas pipeline

ANKARA — An explosion hit a pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey overnight, forcing the shut-down of the conduit, officials said on Wednesday.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 25 Aug 2010, 2:30 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:51 AM

Separatist Kurdish rebels were the prime suspect in an ongoing investigation into the blast in the eastern Agri province, which borders Iran, local officials said.

The rebels were blamed for blowing up another section of the pipeline in the same region last month.

An official from Turkey’s state gas and oil company BOTAS told AFP Wednesday that the blaze at the pipeline had been extinguished and repair work was already under way.

She ruled out a supply shortage.

Turkey imports natural gas also via pipelines from Russia and Azerbaijan.

Militants of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were blamed also for two bomb attacks that hit a pipeline carrying oil from Iraq in July and August.

The PKK, fighting for autonomy in the Kurdish-majority southeast, said on August 13 it was declaring a truce until September 20, a period that covers the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and a September 12 referendum on constitutional changes.

Ankara has dismissed similar PKK truces in the past and continued to fight the rebels.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

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