New blast hits Egypt pipeline

2012-04-09 08:19
Cairo - An explosion on Monday hit a pipeline which supplies Egyptian gas to Israel and Jordan, marking the 14th such attack since 2011, security officials said.

According to witnesses, masked gunmen in two cars dug a hole near the pipeline in the Al-Midan area close to the north Sinai town of Al-Arish, placed the explosives inside and detonated them remotely.

The pipeline had not been operational since the last attack on March 5, an official said.

The pipeline, which supplies gas through Sinai on to Jordan and Israel, had already been attacked almost monthly since the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Egypt has been gripped by security-related problems since the uprising. The Sinai peninsula is particularly sensitive because of tensions with the heavily armed Bedouin community living there.

Many goods are smuggled to the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip through Sinai, which the Israelis also charge is a rear base for militant attacks against its territory.

On Thursday, Israel said a rocket had been fired from Egypt into the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, causing no injuries.

Egypt denied the attack was staged from Sinai, accusing Israel of "spreading rumours".

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