Syria: Blackout hits most of country after 'terrorists' attack gas line

Alleged 'terrorist' attack hits Syria's main gas pipeline, causing nationwide blackout. Earlier Wednesday, mortars slam into two central Damascus squares, killing five

Syria's state news agency says a blackout has hit much of the country following an attack that damaged the gas pipeline that supplies power stations in southern Syria.


SANA quoted the electricity minister as saying maintenance crews are working to restore power. Earlier Wednesday, reports claimed two mortars fell in central Damascus, killing five.


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A Syrian minister blamed the attack on the gas pipeline on "terrorists," a term the government uses to refer to those trying to topple President Bashar Assad.


Alleged pipeline explosion (Photo: Reuters)


It was not immediately clear how extensive Wednesday's blackout is, and whether every corner of the country was affected.


Damascus and southern Syria have been struck by several major power outages over the course of the country's civil war. Many rebel-held parts of the country have been without power for months. In the past the country has reportedly been also disconnected from the internet.


Earlier Wednesday, Syrian rebels shelled two of Damascus's main squares on Wednesday, killing five people and wounding at least 22, a monitoring group said.


"We have reports that a shell that struck... near the Sheraton Hotel in Umayyad Square injured two people... while reports emerged of five killed and 20 wounded when shells hit Abbasiyeen Square and (nearby) Qassaa," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.


Among the dead was a singer of Christian religious songs, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.


Both Abbasiyeen and Umayyad squares have been targeted by intermittent rebel shelling in recent weeks, as violence has escalated on the outskirts of Damascus.


The state SANA news agency described the shelling of Umayyad Square, which is home to several government offices and security buildings, as a "terrorist attack."


The Associated Press and AFP have contributed to the report



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פרסום ראשון: 10.23.13, 23:01
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