World / Middle East

Gunmen blasts oil pipeline in E Syria

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-06-25 09:23

DAMASCUS - Armed groups blasted an oil pipeline in Syria's eastern Deir al-Zour province overnight Sunday, causing fire at the explosion site, state-run SANA news agency said.

The 12-diameter pipe will be repaired and re-operate within the next few days, said SANA, adding that the pipe had been previously targeted with explosives at the same site.

In another incident in Deir al-Zour Sunday, armed groups kidnapped the city's mufti, Abul-Qader al-Rawi, SANA reported, adding that the competent authorities are pursuing the kidnappers to rescue the sheikh.

The state media reported severe clashes in the eastern region over the past days, as activists reported deteriorating situation and dozens of casualties too.

The opposition activists' network, Local Coordination Committee, said relentless clashes are underway in several neighborhood of Deir al-Zour between the Syrian troops and the rebel Free Syrian Army, leaving 19 people killed.

Yet the activists' report couldn't be independently verified.

A pro-government Facebook page said that more than 50 armed men were ambushed and killed by the government soldiers in Deir al- Zour on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Syria's pro-government Addounia TV said the authorities killed two "terrorists" in the Damascus' suburb of Douma overnight Sunday, adding that the tracking of armed groups is underway in the restive suburb to protect the civilians.

The United Nations estimates that over 10,000 people have died in Syria's 16-month-old unrest, while the Syrian authorities said they are fighting foreign-backed armed groups and over 2,000 troops were killed during attacks on government establishments.

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