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Oil flow on Colombia's Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline halted after attack

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Oil flow through Colombia’s Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline was suspended on Friday after an attack with explosives started a fire, Cenit, a subsidiary of the country’s majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol, said.

The attack took place in a rural area near the municipality of Saravena, in Colombia’s Arauca province, near the border with Venezuela.

The incident is the first major attack this year on the 480-mile (773-kilometer) long pipeline - which can transport up to 210,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Last year, there were 29 attacks, Cenit said, some of which caused fires and polluted rivers and streams.

“These illegal acts put people’s lives at risk, violate human rights, generate serious consequences for the environment, and affect communities and the oil industry,” Cenit said in a statement.

The company did not blame a specific group for the attack but, according to the military, guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN) and dissidents of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, who rejected a 2016 peace deal with the government, operate in the area.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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