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Syria says rebels blow up natural gas pipeline

 

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 kilometers (18 miles) 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.