November 11, 2018 / 12:59 AM / 9 days ago

Colombia's Cano Limon pipeline hit by new bomb attack

BOGOTA, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Saturday it was mounting another cleanup operation after a bomb attack on the Cano Limon pipeline.

The attack is the 78th this year on the 485-mile (780-km) pipeline, which has been out of service for much of 2018 because of bombings and illegal taps.

The pipeline, which can transport up to 210,000 barrels per day, was not functioning at the time of the attack. It was also bombed on Thursday.

The latest bombing took place in Toledo municipality in Norte de Santander province, Ecopetrol said on Twitter.

The company did not say who it held responsible, but military sources have blamed previous attacks on the pipeline on fighters from the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group.

The ELN, considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, has about 1,500 combatants and opposes multinational companies that its leaders accuse of seizing natural resources without benefiting Colombians.

Colombian President Ivan Duque has demanded the group free all its hostages and cease criminal activities before he will consider restarting peace talks that began last year under his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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