car bomb, gas link blast cut power to northern iraq

iraq

Car bomb, gas link blast cuts off power to northern Iraq

BAGHDAD, Feb 11 (Reuters) – A blast at a gas pipeline feeding a power station on Monday and a car bomb targeting power lines at another station the day before have cut electricity to a quarter of Iraq’s roughly 27 million people, officials said.

“A car bomb yesterday near Mosul power station shut down electricity to the north and east of Iraq by cutting the lines,” electricity ministry spokesman Aziz Sultan said. “Today, another explosion stopped gas to Baiji electrical station, which then had to shut down. Between them, the two incidents have cut power to the entire northern region. We hope to repair it in two days,” Sultan told Reuters by phone.

The region surrounding the northern city of Mosul and the entire semi-autonomous Kurdistan region had no electricity supply, he said. The planning ministry estimates Kurdistan and the area around Mosul to account for a quarter of Iraq’s population, which is estimated at 27 million although the lack of a census makes this hard to judge.

Iraqi army captain Adnan al-Jubouri said a leak had caused the explosion that struck a gas pipeline from Kirkuk’s oilfields to Baiji. But Sultan said he suspected sabotage by insurgents.

(Reporting by Wisam Mohammed; Writing by Tim Cocks; editing by Anthony Barker)

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