Kurdish rebels blow up Iranian gas pipeline in Turkey

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Kurdish rebels have claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a natural gas pipeline in eastern Turkey.

The blast has halted the flow of gas from Iran. It also wounded 28 Turkish soldiers who, an official said, were driving past in a military vehicle.

It is the second attack in a month on the pipeline. The Kurdish separatist group, the PKK, has also targetted the oil pipeline from Iraq.

The attack happened near the town of Eleskirt, in Agri province.

Accoring to the state-run Anatolian news agency, the governor of Agri, Mehmet Tekinarslan, said the blast was caused by a remote-controlled bomb. The soldiers suffered only minor injuries.

Increased security

The governor said security has been stepped up along the pipeline, but it remains unclear when gas flows will resume.

The Russian gas producer, Gazprom, says it will increase its supplies to Turkey because of the disruption. Gazprom said it was acting following a request from Botas, the Turkish state gas and oil transportation company.

The PKK has been waging a 28-year campaign for self-rule in southern and eastern Turkey. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in its campaign.

Clashes between the group and the Turkish military have increased since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria.

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