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UPDATE 1-Iranian gas flow to Turkey halted after blast-officials

(Adds details, background)

ANKARA, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The gas flow on a pipelinecarrying Iranian natural gas to Turkey was halted due to anexplosion in eastern Turkey in the early hours of Monday,Turkish energy officials told Reuters.

The blast occurred in the area of Dogubayazit, a town inAgri province near the Iranian border, the officials said, oncondition of anonymity.

They said damage assessment work had begun and it was notimmediately clear when the gas flow will resume or what causedthe blast, which occurred around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT).

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has claimedresponsibility for repeated attacks on pipelines in Turkey inits 28-year-old armed campaign against the Turkish state whichhas claimed more than 40,000 lives.

Flows have also been halted several times on theKirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline carrying crude oil from Iraq to Turkey inrecent months due to suspected sabotage blamed on the PKK.

(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing byAlison Birrane)

((seda.sezer@thomsonreuters.com)(+90 212 350 7051)(ReutersMessaging: seda.sezer@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: TURKEY IRAN/GAS