Blast halts oil flow from Turkish-Iraqi pipeline: sources
DIYARBAKIR - Agence France-Presse
DHA PhotoAn explosion hit the Turkish-Iraqi pipeline overnight Sunday, causing a fire and stopping oil flow to Turkey, local security sources told AFP on Monday.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear but suspicions are running high that Kurdish militants, who have in the past targeted the pipeline, or oil smugglers may have sabotaged it.
An unidentified female body was found near the blast site the next morning with a backpack and an automatic gun. The body was taken immediately to Sinopi State Hospital near by.
The fire started in the Silopi and Cizre districts of Şırnak province following the blast on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, said the security sources, adding that firefighters were trying to put out the flames.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and the international community, have sabotaged the pipeline several times in the past.
The 970-kilometre (600-mile) pipeline runs from Iraq's northern oil hub of Kirkuk to the port of Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, pumping 450,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Iraq depends on oil sales for the vast majority of government income. The oil-rich nation exported some 2.515 million barrels per day in July, earning about $7.535 billion in revenues.