Army to protect Mexican oil infrastructure after explosions

Soldiers are being drafted in to guard Mexico's oil and gas works following several explosions at gas ducts Monday, the nation's interior ministry said.

Army to protect Mexican oil infrastructure after explosions
Soldiers are being drafted in to guard Mexico's oil and gas works following several explosions at gas ducts Monday, the nation's interior ministry said.

Six explosions rocked the ducts operated by state-run energy firm Pemex early Monday in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz forcing the evacuation of 21,000 residents.

There were no casualties and the authorities were evaluating property losses, an interior ministry statement said, firmly condemning the attacks.

The fundamental installations of Mexican oil companies should be protected by the country's armed forces, and the government will take every necessary measure to arrest those responsible and bring them to justice, the statement said.

The authorities have launched an investigation into the incidents.

President Felipe Calderon, who is on an official visit to New Delhi, India, denounced the attacks.

The government should provide more support to its security services to protect the people of Mexico, Calderon added.

The gas ducts are located in La Antigua, Omealca, Minatitlan and Actopan. After the attacks, police closed the main Veracruz state highways, including routes from Xalapa to Veracruz, Cordoba to Mexico City and Minatitlan to Coatzacoalcos.

So far no organizations or individuals have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In July, many gas ducts were blown up in central Mexico's Queretaro and Guanajuato in attacks claimed by the Revolutionary Popular Army guerrilla group or EPR, but some politicians blamed the attacks on the conservative government.

The EPR, which emerged in 1996, is opposed to the government of conservative Calderon, whose razor-thin 2006 election victory was contested for months by left-wingers claiming fraud.

Agencies
Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2007, 11:22
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