Oil pipeline blown up with explosives by government foes, Venezuelan officials say

An explosion that damaged an oil pipeline connected to Venezuela's largest oil refinery was caused by government foes attempting to disrupt congressional elections, officials said Sunday.

Interior Minister Jesse Chacon said C-4 explosives were used to blow up the pipeline Saturday night and that officials are certain it was aimed at trying to destabilize the country.

"We already know who is behind this situation, and we have made some detentions," Chacon said, without giving other details.

Nobody was hurt by the explosion Saturday night in a remote region of western Venezuela, and firefighters extinguished a fierce blaze caused by the blast.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez blamed the same opponents who unsuccessfully tried to oust President Hugo Chavez in a two-month strike that ended in early 2003.

"The same people behind the oil sabotage ... are trying to wreak havoc in our country," Ramirez told the state-run Bolivarian News Agency. "We defeated them that time, and we will defeat them now.", AP reported. V.A.

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