Security boost after Mexico blasts

Military to protect pipelines and other energy facilities after wave of attacks.

    The EPR threatened to attack other key installations if its members were not freed from jail [EPA]
    The blasts hit domestic supplies of natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, crude oil and petrol in central Mexico, and forced the evacuation of some communities. No injuries were reported.
    Disrupted supply
    Mexico is the world's ninth largest exporter of crude oil and a major US supplier.
    State oil company Pemex increased its police and army presence at its plants, with helicopter surveillance of its 14,000-kilometre gas pipeline which extends from central Mexico City to Guadalajara.
    The company has had to repair different sections of the same pipeline which were damaged in the explosions on Tuesday and last Thursday.
    Up to 1,200 companies are reported to have slowed or stopped production due to the disruption in supplies of natural gas, among them major multinationals such as Honda, Kellogg and Nissan as well as Mexico's biggest beer maker, Grupo Modelo SA.
    The total business losses are estimated at more than $6.4m a day, the newspaper said, citing unidentified sources.
    Pemex has said it hopes to have supplies fully restored by the end of the week.
    Security analysts and energy experts, however, downplayed the attacks, noting they were relatively small in nature and mostly symbolic, having little effect on the economy.
    The EPR said in a statement it would continue its anti-government campaign until three activists arrested in May are released.
    However, Mexico's attorney-general's office said the three men were not in prison.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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