Syria says rebels blow up natural gas pipeline
A man runs between debris after a mortar shell hit a street killing several people in the Bustan Al-Qasr district of Aleppo, Syria, Dec. 17, 2012. (AP / Narciso Contreras)
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 6:42AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 9:00PM EST
BEIRUT -- Syria's state news agency says a 'terrorist group' has blown up a natural gas pipeline in the country's oil-rich east.
Syria's government refers to rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad as terrorists.
The news agency said the blast Monday some 30 kilometres north of Deir el-Zour caused the loss of around 1.5 million cubic meters of gas. It quoted an Oil Ministry official as saying the station fed electricity plants and a fertilizer factory and that engineers were repairing the leak.
Rebels have repeatedly targeted Syria's oil infrastructure in an effort to sap government finances. Last week, they reported seizing the al-Tanak oil field, also in east Syria.
Anti-regime activists say more than 45,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011.