March 23, 2019 / 4:46 PM / a month ago

Colombia's Trasandino pipeline bombed for fifth time in 2019

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia’s Trasandino oil pipeline was bombed late on Friday in western Narino province, state-run oil company Ecopetrol said, the 5th time it has been attacked this year.

The bombing took place in a rural area of Ricaurte municipality near the border with Ecuador. The pipeline was not in operation at the time of the attack, Ecopetrol said in a statement on Saturday.

The company is waiting for the military to secure the area before sending in clean-up personnel, it said.

There have been around 20 attacks on Colombian pipelines so far in 2019. The Cano Limon pipeline was offline for most of 2018 because of bombings.

Although Ecopetrol does not usually name the group responsible for attacks, oil infrastructure bombings are regularly carried out by leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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