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Bahrain calls pipeline blast 'terrorism' linked to Iran

From Reuters - November 11, 2017

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Bahrain said an explosion which caused a fire at its main oil pipeline on Friday was caused by terrorist sabotage, linking the unprecedented attack to its arch-foe Iran, which denies any role in the Gulf island kingdoms unrest.

A key Western ally and host to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, Sunni Muslim-ruled Bahrain has for years grappled with protests and sporadic violence coming from its Shiite majority.

The incident was an act of sabotage and a dangerous act of terrorism aimed at harming the higher interests of the nation and the safety of the people, the ministry said on its website.

Terrorist acts witnessed by the country in the recent period are carried out through direct contacts and instructions from Iran, the statement quoted Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa as saying.

Bahraini authorities said they had brought under control the fire at the oil pipeline.

State-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) closed the flow of oil to the stricken pipeline, the civil defense said in a statement earlier on Saturday.

Residents close to the incident near Buri village, some 15 kilometers (10 miles) from the capital Manama, were being evacuated to a safe shelter, the statement added.

Saudi Arabias energy ministry said pumping to Bahrain had been suspended and the kingdom was stepping up security precautions at its own facilities.

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