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Oil report

Gas pipeline blast in southern Iraq kills 2, injures 51, police say

BASRA, Iraq, Oct 31 (Reuters) - At least two people were killed and 51 injured after a gas pipeline explosion in southern Iraq, police sources said on Saturday.

The blast occurred on Friday night near the southern city of Samawa, 270 km (170 miles) south of Baghdad, and firefighters have managed to contain the fire after shutting down the gas line, police said.

A military statement said the pipeline blast killed two children and injured 28, including nine Shi’ite paramilitary fighters. The causes of the explosion is still unknown and firefighters crews are still trying to put out fires, it said.

Police sources said the pipeline extension passes near a camp for an Iraqi militia force near Samawa.

Iraqi energy officials said the domestic line is transporting gas from some of the southern fields to feed power stations in some southern cities and a key power station near Baghdad.

The explosion has no effect on Iraq’s gas production and processing operations, two gas officials said. (Reporting by Aref Mohammed; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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