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Iranian gas flow to Turkey halted after blast-officials

ANKARA (Reuters) - The gas flow on a pipeline carrying Iranian natural gas to Turkey was halted due to an explosion in eastern Turkey in the early hours of Monday, Turkish energy officials told Reuters.

The blast occurred in the area of Dogubayazit, a town in Agri province near the Iranian border, the officials said, on condition of anonymity.

They said damage assessment work had begun and it was not immediately clear when the gas flow will resume or what caused the blast, which occurred around 9 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has claimed responsibility for repeated attacks on pipelines in Turkey in its 28-year-old armed campaign against the Turkish state which has claimed more than 40,000 lives.

Flows have also been halted several times on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline carrying crude oil from Iraq to Turkey in recent months due to suspected sabotage blamed on the PKK.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Alison Birrane