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Iran resumes gas exports to Turkey

Orumiyeh, W Azarbaijan Prov, Oct 2, IRNA-Iran resumed exports of natural gas to Turkey via a pipeline damaged by an explosion on Thursday, it was reported in Orumiyeh on Monday.

An official supervising the transfer of Iranian natural gas to Turkey, Hoshang Mehrdadfar, told IRNA in this northwestern city that Iranian technicians have completed repairs on the damaged portion of the pipeline three days after the explosion.

The explosion occurred in a remote mountainous area near the Iranian border town of Bazargan, some 853km northwest of the capital Tehran, disrupting gas exports to Turkey.

"The blast damaged the pipeline two kilometers from the Iran-Turkey gas transfer station on the Bazargan borderpoint and five kilometers inside Iranian territory at 22:30 hours local time (1930 GMT).

Firefighters arrived swiftly at the site of the incident and the fire was extinguished after an hour," another local official told IRNA on Friday.

He said the cause of the explosion was still under investigation.

However, the English-language paper `Iran Daily', quoting the Commander of West Azarbaijan Police Department, said on Sunday that elements linked to the "terrorist group Free Life of Kurdistan PJAK (Iranian wing of the PKK)" carried out the bombing.

The paper further quoted Hossein Karami as saying three members of the PJAK are suspected of carrying out the explosion.

One has been arrested and the two other suspects have been identified," said the official.

Karami added that Iran and Turkey had reached an agreement to tighten security measures along their joint border and intensify the campaign against the PKK.

Ankara blames PKK rebels for the deaths of more than 30,000 people since the group launched its armed campaign for an independent Kurdish homeland in southeastern Turkey in 1984.

PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Iran accuses the PJAK of killing dozens of its armed forces in insurgent attacks in areas bordering Turkey, wrote the daily.

... Payvand News - 10/2/06 ... --

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