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Explosion in eastern Turkey halts natural gas flow from Iran: report

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An explosion in eastern Turkey on Tuesday damaged a natural gas pipeline and halted gas flows from Iran, The Associated Press reported, citing local media.

The explosion occurred in the Doğubeyazıt district, near the Gürbulak border gate with Iran, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Flames caused by the explosion could be seen from nearby villages before the fire was extinguished.

The agency said the cause of the explosion was under investigation.

Kurdish militants belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have attacked oil and gas pipelines from Iraq and Iran as part of their more than three-decade-long campaign for self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

“This morning, terrorists attacked a natural gas pipeline inside Turkey near Iran’s Bazargan border with Turkey. … The flow of gas has been halted,” said Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana, director of the National Iranian Gas Co, on Tuesday, according to Al Jazeera.

“The pipeline has experienced explosions several times in the past. It is also likely that the PKK group is responsible for this blast,” he told Iran’s state news agency IRNA.

Jamshidi-Dana said that “the Turkish border guards have left” because of the coronavirus outbreak, adding, “We have informed them of the explosion and are waiting for their response,” IRNA reported.

“It takes usually three to four days to repair and resume gas exports.”

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