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Explosion damages natural gas pipeline and interrupts supply on Iran-Turkey border

03 April 2020

An explosion damaged a natural gas pipeline in eastern Turkey on March 31 and stopped gas flow coming from neighbouring Iran. Iranian state media said the blast, which occurred in the town of Dogubayazit, was caused by “terrorists”.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Firefighters were able to bring a fire caused by the explosion under control within a few hours before the Turkish military secured the area. The blast happened near the Gürbulak Border Crossing where border guards had been released from duty in recent days due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted a director of National Iranian Gas as saying the explosion was the result of an attack by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an organisation based in the Kurdish regions of Turkey and Iraq which has been in conflict with Turkey since 1984. 

However, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu Agency said that the cause of the blast is still unknown and that an investigation into the incident has begun.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU, has targeted Turkish oil and gas infrastructure several times in the past. 

The affected pipeline carries around 10 billion cubic metres of Iranian natural gas to Turkey every year.

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