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Explosion in Turkey damages natural gas pipeline from Iran

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An explosion in eastern Turkey Tuesday damaged a natural gas pipeline and halted gas flows from Iran, Turkey's state-run news agency reported. The explosion occurred in the town of Dogubayazit, near the Gurbulak border gate with Iran, Anadolu 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. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted National Iranian Gas Co. gas dispatching director Mahdi Jamshidi Dana as saying authorities suspected the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, likely attacked the pipeline.

Kurdish militants belonging to the outlawed PKK have targeted oil and gas pipelines from Iraq and Iran as part of their more than three-decade old campaign for self-rule in southeast Turkey. IRNA said previous attacks required up to four days of repair before gas shipments could resume.

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