Gas pipeline in Syria's Homs blown up

2011-12-27 18:20

Damascus - Saboteurs blew up a gas pipeline in the flashpoint Syrian region of Homs on Tuesday, the official Sana news agency reported, as Arab League observers visited the provincial capital.

"An armed terrorist group targeted in a sabotage operation at 03:00 (01:00 GMT) on Tuesday a pipeline carrying gas between Abd Kafar and Rastan," said Sana, referring to towns in Homs, a hotbed of dissent against the regime.

"A leak of about 150 000m³ of gas occurred from the pipeline which goes to the power plant at Mhardeh," said Sana, adding that repair work was under-way.

"The same pipeline was the target of a terrorist operation on December 12," Sana added, referring to an attack it also blamed on "terrorists" which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights denied at the time.

The latest explosion is the fifth reported attack on energy infrastructure since the outbreak of Syria's unprecedented pro-reform protest movement in mid-March.

On December 13, an explosion ripped through a gas pipeline near Rastan, in an attack Sana blamed on "terrorists." But the Observatory said the pipeline supplied a region seen as staunchly opposed to Assad's rule.

That came five days after Sana said "terrorists" blew up an oil pipeline west of Homs. The Local Co-ordination Committees accused the regime of destroying it to punish local residents for their dissent.

On July 13, activists said a gas pipeline exploded in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, home to Syria's oil and gas fields.

And on July 29, Sana reported an attack by a subversive group against an oil pipeline also near Homs.