January 29, 2016 / 6:58 PM / in 2 years

Electricity supply in Iraq's Kurdistan region hit by blast

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - A pipeline for gas used to generate around half the electricity in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region was blown up on Friday, knocking out power, a police chief and electricity official told Reuters.

The explosion struck the pipeline in the Qader Karam district of Kirkuk, according to police chief Serhad Qader, who said it was caused by two homemade bombs.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

The pipeline feeds gas from the Khor Mor field to two power plants in the Erbil and Sulaimaniyah provinces of the Kurdistan region, which already suffers from electricity shortages.

The head of electricity distribution in Kurdistan, Omid Ahmed Mohammed, said the blast had initially reduced the region’s total electricity supply to around 400 megawatts (MW) from 2,850 MW, but authorities later managed to return it to around 2,000 MW by drawing on other sources.

Reporting by Isabel Coles; editing by Andrew Roche

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