Bombing damages Colombia pipeline, second spill under investigation

BOGOTA (Reuters) - A bombing damaged a section of Colombia's Trasandino pipeline, state-run company Ecopetrol said on Saturday, and the company was investigating a crude spillage from the Cano Limon pipeline to determine if it was also caused by an attack. The attack on the Trasandino took place late on Friday in Barbacoas municipality in southwestern Narino province, Ecopetrol said in a statement. The company was assessing the extent of the damage, it said. Photos posted by Ecopetrol on Twitter showed oil-slicked grass and a puddle of crude next to the damaged pipeline. The Trasandino was not operating at the time of the attack, the company said. Ecopetrol is working to verify the cause of a crude spillage from the Cano Limon pipeline in Tibu municipality in eastern Norte de Santander province, it said in a second statement. There were reports of a loud explosion and crude has spilled into two ravines in the area, it said. There have been around 20 attacks on Colombian pipelines so far in 2019. The 485-mile (780-km) Cano Limon pipeline was kept offline for most of 2018 because of more than 80 bombings. Although Ecopetrol did not name the group responsible for the Trasandino bombing, the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group, considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, regularly attacks pipelines. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Daniel Wallis)