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Oil pipeline explosion in southeastern Turkey blamed on sabotage

From Talia Kayali
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two people are dead, one is injured in the explosion
  • The pipeline is owned by BOTAS, the Turkish government oil and natural gas company
  • Police sources blamed PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party

(CNN) -- An oil pipeline exploded Tuesday in southeastern Turkey, killing two people and injuring at least one other in an incident police sources blamed on sabotage.

The casualties occurred when flames spread from the pipeline -- between the towns of idil and Midyat -- to a nearby highway, causing at least two cars to catch fire, they said.

The pipeline is owned by BOTAS, the Turkish government oil and natural gas company.

The police sources blamed PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, for the attack.

Turkey is reeling from another bloody summer of clashes with the PKK, the latest in a conflict that has simmered for more than 25 years. More than 30,000 people, mostly ethnic Kurds, have been killed in the conflict. At least five soldiers and one policeman were killed in recent days.

Initially, the PKK fought to carve out a separate homeland for Turkey's ethnic Kurdish minority, which makes up roughly 20 percent of the Turkish population. But in recent years, the rebels have said they are giving up their demands for an independent Kurdish state, and are instead fighting for more cultural freedoms.