A major oil pipeline near a large Sunni Muslim district in the Syrian city of Homs has been attacked, causing a fire, according to reports.

Syrian activist group The Local Coordination Committees told the Associated Press the pipeline was hit Wednesday morning in the neighbourhood of Baba Amro, which has been shelled by regime troops for the past 12 days.
 
Homs has been one of the cities hardest hit by President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on a popular uprising that began in March, a crackdown that has seen over 5400 people killed since January, according to the United Nations.

Residents of the area told Reuters a large plume of smoke was still rising from the pipeline, which runs near farmland at the edge of Baba Amro district, some two hours after the explosion.

It is not clear what caused the explosion. The pipeline, which runs from the Rumeilan fields in the eastern Syriac Desert to the Homs refinery, one of two in the country, has been hit several times before during the 11-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The authorities have accused "terrorist saboteurs" of hitting the pipeline while opposition activists said the military, which began firing shells, mortar rounds and rockets into Baba Amro on 3 February, has been hitting it by mistake, Reuters reported.

Source: Upstream Online