A major Syrian pipeline carrying oil to a refinery in restive Homs province was blown up Thursday in an attack the state-run news agency blamed on "saboteurs" as activists reported fresh violence from the government crackdown on a popular uprising.
The blast caused no casualties but sent a plume of black smoke into the sky. A government official said the blast caused a fire that burned for hours. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
"An armed terrorist group on Thursday committed an act of sabotage," the state-run SANA news agency said.
It was not clear who was behind the pipeline explosion at a time when violence in Syria is spiraling out control, unearthing long-standing grievances and resentments. The opposition accuses the government of playing on fears of religious extremism and terrorism to rally support behind President Bashar Assad, who has portrayed himself as the only force that can stabilize the country.
There were two similar blasts on Syrian pipelines in July and it is still not know who was behind them.
Nomair Makhlouf, the general director of the Syrian Oil Company, said the pipeline serves Syria’s domestic requirements and carries 140,000 barrels a day.
"Syrian government accused a terrorist armed group for the explosion of a pipeline that was carrying oil to a refinery in Holms. However, a Syrian observatory of human rights declared that it was an inside job."
"A Syrian pipeline carrying oil from the east of the country to a vital refinery in Homs was blown up on Thursday. Official news agency SANA says it was an act of sabotage by an armed terrorist group."
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