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Turkish oil pipeline from Iraq bombed

Incident comes one day after natural gas pipeline from Iran attacked.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Turkish struggles with militant campaigns spills over into energy sector, with two pipelines bombed in two days. File Photo by Ebrahem Khadir/ UPI
Turkish struggles with militant campaigns spills over into energy sector, with two pipelines bombed in two days. File Photo by Ebrahem Khadir/ UPI | License Photo

ANKARA, Turkey, July 29 (UPI) -- For the second consecutive day, pipelines running through southern Turkey have become the target of militant campaigns drawing attention from NATO.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Wednesday a section of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline, running from northern Iraq to Turkish ports, was bombed in southern Sirnak province.

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"Just after the explosion we've closed the oil valves to stop extra oil flow," he was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu News Agency. "We have taken measures and the attack won't have an effect on oil supply and demand."

The pipeline from northern Iraq has a maximum capacity of around 400,000 barrels of oil per day. The bombing comes one day after an attack on a natural gas pipeline running through Turkey from Iran.

Yildiz blamed the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party, known by its Kurdish initials PKK, for the attack on the gas pipeline. The PKK, which has fought against the government in an effort to secure more Kurdish autonomy, recently called off a 2013 cease-fire agreement. The Turkish government has accused it of collaborating with the terrorist movement calling itself the Islamic State.

Turkey called for an emergency meeting of NATO to address the spike in regional violence. The alliance said terrorism poses a direct threat to security of NATO members and members of the international community.

"It is a global threat that knows no border, nationality, or religion -- a challenge that the international community must fight and tackle together," NATO said.

The statement from Yildiz carried by the state-run news agency made no reference to the party blamed for the attack. He noted, however, that the Turkish energy sector has been the target of recent terrorist attacks recently, adding militants were targeting Turkey's strategic regional position.

Iran last year increased gas deliveries through Turkey and the combined potential from new reserves from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iraq position the country as an important energy hub tying Central Asia to Europe and the Middle East.

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