[QODLink]
Middle East
Egypt detains two in Sinai pipeline bombing
Police arrest two leading members of al-Qaeda-inspired group in connection with attack on gas pipeline to Israel.
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2011 16:35
 

Egyptian security officials have arrested two members of an al-Qaeda-inspired group thought to be behind attacks on a pipeline supplying gas to Israel and Jordan, the official MENA news agency reported Monday.

Abdel Karim Mohammed Ahmed and Ahmed Salem Awad, of the group known as Al-Takfeer wal Hijra, were detained during a sweep in the north Sinai town of el-Arish, a day after one of the group's leading members was held, MENA said.

Another member of the group, Mohammed al-Teehi, was earlier arrested and named as the mastermind of attacks on the gas pipeline and on police stations and installations in North Sinai, a security official said on Sunday.

On Thursday, two explosions hit the pipeline that carries gas through the Sinai Peninsula and on to Jordan and Israel. It had already been attacked six times since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.

Egyptian authorities have on several occasions announced measures to step up protection of the pipeline and try to arrest those behind the attacks. Army experts have also located and defused a number of other devices targeting the pipeline.

Israel generates 40 per cent of its electricity using natural gas, and Egypt provides 43 per cent of its gas supplies.

The deliveries to Israel, agreed to under Mubarak, have come under heavy criticism in Egypt. Mubarak's government was accused of selling the gas at a low price.

Egypt's Sinai region is particularly sensitive due to tensions with the Bedouin community living there.

Many goods are smuggled to the Palestinian enclave of Gaza through Sinai, which Israel also charges is used as a rear base for militant attacks against its territory.

The military and police launched a sweeping operation in the peninsula in October to uproot militants blamed for the attacks on the pipeline and a police station in El-Arish.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list