AFP
Last updated: 21 July, 2012

Pipeline fire halts Iraqi crude supplies to Turkey

Turkish officials Saturday blamed sabotage for a fire on a pipeline carrying Iraqi crude to a Mediterranean port from where it is transported to world markets, Anatolia news agency reported.

The fire on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline erupted late Friday between the villages of Sogutlu and Senkoy in southeastern Turkey, the governor of Mardin province, Mardin Turhan Ayvaz said, blaming it on “sabotage.

“We have cut the oil flow,” he said. “There are no deaths or injuries. Fire fighters are there on the spot.”

The 970-kilometre- (600-mile-) long pipeline has been the target of regular attacks blamed by Ankara on the Kurdistan Peoples’ Party or PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and by much of the international community.

The group took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

The pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan was last attacked at the end of June.