ANKARA (Sputnik) — The explosion at the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline in eastern Turkey was a diversion by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Tuesday.
Earlier Tuesday, local media reported a blast had hit the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline, carrying gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan, in Turkey’s Kars province.
"This night at 01:15 [22:15 GMT] there was a diversion at the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum in the… province of Kars. We see the intention by the terrorist separatist group [PKK] to encroach on the needs of our citizens living in the region, leaving them without a source of energy. This will not go unpunished," Yildiz said in a statement.
Since then, the PKK is reported to have staged several attacks in the country, including July’s attack on a gas pipeline between Turkey and Iran.
The PKK was founded at the end of the 1970s to fight for Kurdish self-determination. The group is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara.