Explosion rocks Egyptian gas pipeline

Egyptian state TV says masked gunmen have blown up pipeline that supplies gas to Israel and Jordan.

    It is the fourth attack on facilities supplying Egyptian gas to Israel this year [Reuters] 

    Gunmen have blown up a terminal of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan in a predawn attack, Egyptian state television reports.

    The explosion occurred east of El-Arish, a city in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, located about 50km west of the Israeli border, the governor of Northern Sinai told Nile Television on Tuesday.

    Flames from the blast could be seen up to 20km away, the broadcaster reported, without giving details on the causes of the explosion or the damage incurred.

    A security guard and his family were injured in the blast, the official MENA state news agency reported on Tuesday, without citing its sources.

    Fire trucks were working to contain the blaze and security forces were scanning the area to "find those behind this explosion and to find the type of explosives used", the report said.

    At least four assailants ordered guards on duty to leave and then blasted a terminal of the pipeline, Egyptian officials told the Associated Press news agency on condition of anonymity.

    No one has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's explosion, the fourth attack on the pipeline since the 18-day uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime on February 11.

    Bedouin tribesmen in the area and those who oppose Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel have been blamed for previous strikes.

    The pipeline serves 40 per cent of Israel's gas consumption.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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