"BEIRUT (AP) -- A bomb blast struck a major oil pipeline in western Syria on Friday, causing oil to spill into a nearby lake. State television said the explosion was a "terrorist" attack by a group of "saboteurs."
It was the second incident involving an oil pipeline in a month, and the second time this week that authorities accused saboteurs of striking installations.
Syrian authorities have unleashed a brutal crackdown in an effort to crush the revolt against President Bashar Assad, and activists say more than 1,600 civilians have died since the protests erupted in mid-March. The government blames the unrest on terrorists and foreign extremists, not true reform-seekers.
The pipeline blast came as activists said security forces killed at least five people during overnight raids in Deir el-Zour province and suburbs of the capital, Damascus.
Authorities said the pipeline carries crude from the oil fields in the oil-rich eastern Deir el-Zour to one of Syria's two oil refineries in the coastal town of Banias, the main point of export for Syrian oil. The second oil refinery is in the central city of Homs....."