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Syria blackout leaves many in darkness after rebels attack gas line

Fire burning near Damascus airport and gunfire can be heard near Syria's capital city.

Syria conflict 10 22 2013Enlarge
An opposition fighter patrols an abandoned building in Deir Ezzor, Syria, on October 22, 2013. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is feeling strengthened as international pressure on his regime appears to be easing amid growing Western fears of an Islamist takeover and unwavering Russian support, analysts say. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Sections of Syria were shrouded in darkness late Wednesday after a blast reportedly severed a gas line, the state news agency reported.

According to SANA, blackouts happened after “terrorists” attacked gas lines that supply fuel for power plants.

“Electricity Minister Imad Khamis on Wednesday said that a terrorist attack on the gas pipelines which feed the electricity generating stations has causes electricity break off in a number of Syrian cities,” SANA reported online.

“The Minister said in a statement to SANA that the maintenance workshops are working to mend the defect and restore electricity to the Syrian regions.”

SANA, state-run and supportive of President Bashar al-Assad, refers to rebels trying to unseat the leadership as terrorists and claims they’re linked to Al Qaeda.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said fires are burning near Damascus International Airport, where the attack was centered.

“Fires has been seen in Algsolh area near Damascus International Airport accompanied by hearing the sounds of explosions, and preliminary information indicates that the rebel fighters bombarded the region, which led to an explosion of a gas pipeline,” the observatory said.

The group told Reuters that western, coastal cities and parts of the northern province of Aleppo are also without power.

A witness said much of the capital Damascus is dark, fire can be seen near the airport and gunfire can be heard echoing around the city.

“Work to repair (the outage) is in progress,” Electricity Minister Emad Khamis told SANA, according to Reuters.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/131023/syria-blackout-rebels-attack-gas-lines-damascus-airport