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The Mideast

Blast, Followed By Fire, Hits Iran Oil Pipeline

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian news agencies say an explosion has struck an oil pipeline in the oil-rich southwest province of Khuzestan, triggering a blaze that took firefighters hours to put out.

Abdohossein Rezaeizadeh, spokesman for the provinces' branch of the Iranian national oil company, says the causes of Friday's blast and the subsequent fire were under investigation.

The official IRNA news agency didn't say whether there were any injuries.

The semi-official Mehr news agency says the explosion happened at around 1:30 a.m and the flames rose 130 feet into the sky.

Mehr says the blast occurred near Susa, some 430 miles southwest of Tehran.

The pipeline feeds up to 4,000 barrels of oil a day to the nearby Ahvaz oil processing unit.