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Suspected Kurd rebels blow up Iran-Turkey gas pipeline

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 18:47

Ankara: Suspected Kurdish rebels blew up a
pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to Turkey, forcing the
shutdown of the conduit, officials said on Wednesday.

The powerful blast occurred overnight at a section of the
pipeline near the eastern Turkish town of Dogubayazit, in Agri
province, several kilometres (miles) from the Iranian border,
a local official told agency by telephone, without giving other
details.
"The explosion is believed to have been carried out by
members of the separatist terrorist organisation," Agri
Governor Ali Yerlikaya said in a statement, using official
name for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK).

Security forces are looking for the perpetrators, said
the statement, carried by Anatolia news agency.

Television footage showed a large blaze raging over the
pipeline after the blast, which, Anatolia said, shattered the
windows of nearby buildings.

The PKK has dramatically stepped up its 26-year
separatist campaign since its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan
said through his lawyers in May he was abandoning efforts to
seek dialogue with Ankara.

The explosion cut the flow of Iranian gas, but an
official at Turkey`s state oil and gas company BOTAS ruled out
a supply shortage, saying that gas coming via pipelines from
Russia and Azerbaijan was meeting the needs.
"There is no problem at the moment," she told agency.

Repairs at the damaged section of the Iranian conduit
were expected to take about a week, she said, adding that the
fire had been extinguished as of this morning.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 18:47

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