Bahrain calls oil pipeline fire 'a terrorist act'

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Bahrain on Saturday blamed a "terrorist act" for an oil pipeline fire near the capital Manama, later brought under control by emergency services.

"Apparently, Bahraini officials have been conditioned to blame Iran after any mishap that occurs on the island [country]", Qasemi said.

Bahrain said the pipeline that exploded overnight was attacked by militants and alleged that Iran was in communication and guiding those responsible for the explosion and other attacks.

Bahrain has been combatting a low-level insurgency since the Sunni monarchy quashed a 2011 Arab Spring uprising led by majority Shiites.

The Foreign Ministry said the statement of the Bahraini government confirmed that "the terrorist incidents Bahrain is witnessing recently are being carried out via contacts and directives directly from Iran".

The fire service also evacuated homes in the nearby village of Buri, 15 kilometers (10 miles) south of Manama, it added. He did not say what caused the explosion, nor did he name any suspects.

Bahrain relies on the Abu Safa field, which it shares with neighboring Saudi Arabia, for much of its oil, pumped in via a 230,000-barrel-per-day pipeline.

This "is a risky Iranian escalation aimed at terrorizing citizens and damaging the world's oil industry", the minister tweeted.

"The attempt to bomb the Saudi-Bahraini oil pipeline is a risky Iranian escalation that aims to scare citizens and hurt the global oil industry", Sheikh Khalid posted on Twitter on Sunday.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported late Saturday that the kingdom would halt pumping its own crude oil into Bahrain for refining over the pipeline explosion, potentially affecting the island's gasoline market.

No group has claimed the attack. It has faced increasing financial pressure in recent years.

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