Natural gas supplies from Iran to Turkey were disrupted again after a new attack blamed on outlawed Kurdish rebels on a pipeline in the country’s northeast, local authorities said Sunday.
“Terrorists sabotaged the Dogubayazit-Van natural gas pipeline on Saturday... forcing a disruption in the flow,” the governorate of the northeastern city of Agri said in a statement quoted by the Anatolia news agency.
Turkish officials use the term terrorists to refer to the members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has in recent weeks ramped up attacks on the same pipeline to interrupt the flow of gas to Turkey.
Forces dispatched to the area defused explosives found near the blast zone, the statement added.
The same pipeline near the town of Dogubayazit in Agri city was targeted by the rebels on October 8, but gas supplies were resumed a week ago after a six-day repair.
On Friday, rebels wounded 28 Turkish soldiers when they sabotaged a pipeline in Eleskirt, another town located in Agri province, local media reported.
Energy Minister Taner Yildiz vowed then that Turkey would not suffer from gas shortages as Russia and Azerbaijan were providing additional supplies.
About 45,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms for autonomy in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984. The group is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its allies.