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Fire from explosion on gas pipeline in Syria extinguished

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An explosion on the Arab Gas Pipeline that caused a power blackout in Syria on Monday was the result of a “terrorist” attack, state media cited the energy minister as saying.

Ikhbariya TV channel showed footage of a large fire after the explosion, which officials said occurred between the towns of Ad Dumayr and Adra, northwest of the capital of Damascus. The channel later said the fire had been extinguished.

A handout photo made available by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows firefighters striving to put out a fire that allegedly broke out as a result of a terrorist act that targeted the Arab gas pipeline between al-Dumair and Adraa areas in the Damascus countryside, Syria, 24 August 2020. The pipeline, with a diameter of 36 inches and with a capacity of seven million cubic meters of gas, feeds the stations of Deir Ali, Tishreen and Nasiriya in the southern region. EPA-EFE/Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) H

“Assessments show that the explosion … was the result of a terrorist attack,” state news agency SANA quoted Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ghanem as saying. He did not provide further detail.

The electricity minister earlier said that power was gradually being restored to the country’s provinces. A resident in Damascus said power had returned in the capital.

The United States is still looking into an explosion at a gas pipeline in Syria but the incident appears to bear the hallmarks of Islamic State, U.S. Syria envoy James Jeffrey said on Monday.

“We are still looking into that. But it was almost certainly a strike by ISIS,” Jeffrey told reporters in Geneva at the start of U.N.-sponsored talks of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.

In 2013, much of Syria was hit by a power cut after rebel shelling hit a gas pipeline during the country’s civil war.

The Arab Gas Pipeline system extends from Egypt into Jordan and Syria. 

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