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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Armed rebels explode Syrian 2nd gas pipeline near Homs in a week

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Damascus, Jan 6, IRNA -- A group of armed rebels here Friday exploded on of Syria’s natural gas pipelines between country’s central Homs city and Idlib in Syria’s northwest.

According to a Friday SMS report by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the subscribers of SANA were informed that the Friday January 6th explosion was similar to the Tuesday night January 3rd explosion of another natural gas pipeline near Syria’s Rastan city, also in central part of Syria.

The Homs-Idlib pipeline which was attacked and exploded on Friday was providing the required energy for the electricity power generators for the cities of Al-Zararah and Al-Zizoun.

A Syrian Electricity Ministry official said that the terrorist act led to shutting down the Zizoun Power Generator which was producing 400 megawatts of power per hour, which would lead to the extension of power blackouts for one more hour throughout Syria.

The Friday explosion was the sixth one by armed rebels against natural gas pipelines, with negative effects against the Syrian electricity production.

Gas flows have been stopped and repair work to return the pipeline into operation will begin when the fire is put out, SANA said.

A pipeline transporting crude to a refinery also in the Homs region was attacked Dec. 8, causing a fire and stopping the flow of oil, SANA said at the time.

Syria has been engulfed in a wave of protests calling for regime change and massive rallies in support of President Basher al-Assad’s political system since the beginning of the year. The government’s response to armed revolts has led the US and European Union to impose additional sanctions against President Bashar al- Assad’s administration. Some sanctions target the Arab country’s energy industry.

Energy installations have previously been targeted during the unrest, mostly in Homs. A pipeline near the city was targeted on July 29, interrupting the flow of crude for two days, according to SANA.

Syria, which is trying to halt a decline in its crude production, pumped 103 million barrels of oil in the first nine months of 2011, averaging 378,091 barrels a day, the Oil Ministry said Nov. 22. That’s 2.4 percent less than this year’s earlier period.

Syrian TV says at least 11 killed in Damascus blast; death toll expected to rise

Another explosion on Friday ripped through a busy intersection in the Syrian capital Friday, Damascus, hitting a police bus and killing at least 11 people and possibly many more in an attack that left pools of blood in the streets and marked the second deadly attack in the capital in as many weeks, Syrian authorities said.

Hundreds of Syrian protesters, gathered in the scene, called for the execution of terrorists behind the explosion.

Arab League observers were also present at the scene of the explosion to investigate the matter.

Syrian people, speaking to the IRNA reporter at the scene said thet believed that the Zionist regime elements were behind all terrorist activities in the country.

Syrian people gathered at the scene of explosion and shouted slogans in support of Bashar a-Assad's government.

Some media reports declared that the terrorist act was a suicide attack.

The Syrain television showed residents and paramedics carrying human remains, holding them up for the cameras. Other footages showed a bus with blood on its seats, and cars with blown out windows and riddled with shrapnel.

The state television said that ten people have been confirmed dead, and authorities said that another 15 had also died based on human remains from the scene.

Television also said that 46 people were wounded. It did not specify the victims' identities, but a Syrian official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to talk publicly to the media, said the target of the attack appeared to be a bus carrying policemen.

The IRNA reporter reported from the scene that the state-owned bus was totally destroyed, and a number of cars in the vicinity also were heavily damaged and splattered with blood.

The IRNA reporter says that the attack hit in the heart of Damascus, only about 10 yards from the local police station.

The blast went off at an intersection Midan on Friday, the start of the weekend in Syria and much of the Arab world.

Although the nearly 10-month-old US lead unrests in Syria, Damascus haves been relatively quieted but violence in the capital has been on the rise. On Dec. 23, according to the Syrian authorities, two car bombers blew themselves up outside the heavily guarded compounds of the country's intelligence agencies, killing at least 44 people and wounding 166.

State-run TV said the al Qaeda terrorist network was possibly to blame.

Hundreds of pro-Assad demonstrators descended on the area, carrying banners and signs expressing support for the leader and chanting his name.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Bashar al-Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but the US and Zionist regime plots have once again sparked some new unrests in certain parts of the country.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30751754

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