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Iran-Turkey pipeline attacked in Eastern Turkey

19 October 2012

On October 18 a pipeline in Turkey was hit by an explosion targeting a military vehicle, wounding soldiers and disrupting the flow of natural gas from Iran, according to an official from the eastern province of Agri.

At least 28 soldiers were wounded in the attack by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which remotely detonated a roadside bomb as the army was transporting troops alongside the pipeline near the town of Eleskirt, Agri Governor Mehmet Tekinarslan said, according to Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency.

Authorities said most troops suffered from slight burns and there were also a few with severe injuries, without proving further details.

The PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that cost more than 40,000 lives, has repeatedly targeted pipelines in the country that carry natural gas and oil from Iran and Iraq.

Over the past year, the PKK and Turkey have been locked in the most violent clashes since the 1990s, resulting in the death of more than 700 people, according to the International Crisis Group. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

Natural gas flows from Iran to Turkey stopped after a pipeline blast earlier in October near the town of Dogubeyazit, also in the Agri province and by Mount Ararat. Gas deliveries resumed after a week.

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