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Power outage plague Syria after gas pipeline explosion

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Labour accuses Power Ministry of unethical practisesAn explosion at a natural gas pipeline near Damascus on Monday led to massive power cuts across Syria, the government said, blaming the blast on terrorists.

The state-run SANA News Agency reported that a blast hit the gas pipeline around midnight (2100 GMT) in the area between al-Dumayr and Adra districts, near Damascus.

Minister of Electricity Mohammed Kharboutli said that the blast affected the gas pressure at the power station, causing other stations to stop functioning and caused a power outage nationwide.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion caused a massive fire.

A witness said the explosion was seen by almost all residents of Damascus.

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Oil Minister Ali Ghanem said crew were working on supplying other power stations with gas and bringing back power gradually.

“The blast is a terrorist act,” Ghanem said.

The Observatory said it was not clear who was behind the attack. In the past, the Islamic State extremist group had claimed responsibility for some of such attacks.

President Bashar al-Assad noted that attacks against gas pipelines in areas controlled by the government had been frequent since the uprising-turned-conflict erupted in 2011 against the rule of law.(dpa/NAN)

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