Kurdish terrorist group suspected in Turkish oil pipeline blast

Türkiye Materials 4 July 2010 18:55 (UTC +04:00)

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is suspected of being behind the blowing up of an oil pipeline leading from Iraq to Turkey, Turkish officials said Sunday, dpa reported.

The Saturday blast struck a pipeline that brings oil from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The explosion took place near the Turkish city of Midyat and temporarily knocked the pipeline out of service, officials said.

Although mostly dormant in the years following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the pipeline has since 2007 been pumping an average of 500,000 barrels of oil per day.

The 960 kilometer (600 mile) pipeline had previously been the target of Iraqi insurgents.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the US and the EU, has stepped up its attacks against Turkish forces in recent months. Some 20 Turkish soldiers have been killed in PKK attacks over the last two weeks.