2 killed in gas pipeline explosion in southern Iraq

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Baghdad [Iraq], October 31 (ANI/Xinhua): Two children were killed and 28 people injured in a gas pipeline explosion in southern Iraq, the Iraqi military and an oil official said on Saturday.

The incident took place when a gas pipeline detonated near the 44th Brigade of the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi at al-Najmi area in Muthanna province in the south of Baghdad, the media office of the Joint Operations Command (JPC) said in a statement.

The blast left two children killed and 28 people wounded, including nine Hashd Shaabi members, the JOC statement said.

"The cause of the explosion has not been known yet, but firefighters are continuing to control the fire," the statement added.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Deputy Oil Minister Hamid Younis confirmed in a statement that the incident took place in the early hours of the day and that the gas pipeline carries gas from Basra to Baghdad to feed some power stations in central Iraq.

The oil ministry's teams have managed to control the fire and are trying to replace the damaged parts of the pipeline to resume pumping the gas during the coming hours, Younis said, adding that the ministry has launched an investigation into the incident. (ANI/Xinhua)