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Mexican military says one killed in attack on naval team patrolling pipeline

07 May 2019

One member of Mexico’s navy was killed and three were injured on May 3 when they came under fire while patrolling a section of state-run oil firm Pemex’s frequently plundered pipelines, the country’s naval secretary said.

Pemex pipeline marker - Image: Shutterstock
Pemex pipeline marker - Image: Shutterstock

A navy team were monitoring part of the Tuxpan-Azcapotzalco pipeline, which runs from the southeastern state of Veracruz to Mexico City, when the attack took place, according to a statement by the navy secretary. The exact location of the attack was not given.

“Groups dedicated to fuel theft have increased the level of aggression against the staff of this institution,” the navy secretary said. “The navy secretary of Mexico rejects these actions and reaffirms its commitment to act firmly in defence of the peace of Mexico.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to crack down on the country’s rampant fuel theft, which cost Pemex an estimated $3 billion last year alone.

In January, 135 were killed in an explosion near the town of Tlahuelilpan where an illegal pipeline tap spewing gasoline caught fire and exploded into a fireball.

The explosion was one of the worst in recent history, in a country that has suffered hundreds of illegal ruptures to its network of oil and gas pipelines.

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