Oil Flow Resumes at Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Following Blast

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A pipeline that carries oil from Iraq to world markets resumed operating Wednesday after an explosion in southeastern Turkey forced it to shut down for several hours.

No one was hurt in the explosion late Tuesday near the town of Pazarcik in Kahramanmaras province. The blast caused a huge fire, and authorities also closed a highway, state-run Turkish news outlet Anadolu Agency reported.

The pipeline carries oil from the Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

A statement from Turkey's pipeline company, BOTAS, said the oil flow resumed after "all necessary precautions" were taken.

The cause of the explosion was under investigation. But the Kahramanmaras governor's office said preliminary findings indicate an electricity pole that toppled over in severe weather triggered the blast.

Kurdish rebels who have led an armed insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 have in the past bombed pipelines in the region, including the Kirkuk-to-Ceyhan pipeline.