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Colombia Rebels Wreck Oil Pipeline

January 5, 1998

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Less than a week into the new year, leftist rebels dynamited the nation’s main oil pipeline, forcing the suspension of pumping, the state-owned oil company Ecopetrol said Monday.

Rebels blew up a portion of the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline near Arauqita, 230 miles northeast of the capital, Bogota, on Sunday. Ecopetrol said it hoped to resume pumping on Tuesday.

The National Liberation Army (ELN), the nation’s second largest guerrilla band, was believed responsible.

It was the first dynamite attack on the pipeline this year. Rebels sabotaged the oil duct, which normally transports 175,000 barrels of oil a day to the Caribbean coast, 65 times last year.

The ELN often targets the oil industry, claiming foreign companies are unfairly exploiting the nation’s natural resources.

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