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Explosion strikes major Syrian oil line: report

The domestic supply pipeline carries around 140,000 barrels of oil a day.

Crowds gather in Damascus for a rally in support of President Assad on 2 December.
Crowds gather in Damascus for a rally in support of President Assad on 2 December.
Image: AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi

A MAJOR pipeline carrying oil to a refinery in Syria’s Homs province has been blown up, according to activists and the state-run news agency SANA.

No injuries have been reported and no one has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack.

SANA reports that “an armed terrorist group” today targetted the pipeline in an act of sabotage.

A government official spoke on condition of anonymity to say the blast sparked a fire that had been burning for four hours this morning.

The Syrian Oil Company’s Nomair Makhlouf said that the pipeline struck today provides a domestic supply of around 140,000 barrels a day.

Today’s reports cannot be independently verified due to the heavy government restrictions on independent and foreign reporting.

Violent crackdown

In a US television interview which aired yesterday, President Bashar Assad denied he had given any order for government security forces to use violence against civilian protesters.

He said the government does not “kill our people” and that he did not feel guilt over the 4,000 deaths the UN says have resulted from the nine months of violence:

I did my best to protect the people so you cannot feel guilty when you do your best. You feel sorry for the lives that have been lost, but you don’t feel guilty when you don’t kill people.

He also questioned the UN’s credibility and called on the organisation’s human rights committee to send Syria the documentation it gathered while compiling its recent damning report on the violence. The report accused Syrian forces of committing hundreds of crimes against humanity while trying to suppress political protests.

The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said recently that over 300 children had been killed in the violence.

In recent weeks, demonstrators and dissenters involved in what had been largely peaceful protests have begun arming themselves and ambushing security forces.

- Additional reporting by the AP

“We don’t kill our people”: Syria’s Assad denies govt gave order for violent crackdown

UN rights chief calls for international support for Syrian civilians

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