FARC guerrillas attacked a Petroleos del Norte pipeline in a rural area outside Tibu, a city in northwestern Colombia, media reports said.

Rebels from the 33rd Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, set off explosive charges on a section of the pipeline Saturday in Petrolea, Caracol Radio reported.

The blast caused an oil spill and environmental damage was reported, Caracol Radio said.

Repair crews were sent to the area under the protection of army troops.

More than 30 attacks have taken place this year on the pipelines that run through the region, which is near the border with Venezuela, Caracol Radio said.

Thousands of peasants have taken part in the past two weeks in protests in the region to demand an end to crop eradication programs and the creation of an agricultural reserve.

The FARC, Colombia's oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group, often attacks oil industry pipelines and facilities. EFE