ISIS claims attack on Egypt gas pipeline

accreditation
iStock
iStock

The Islamic State group said on Monday it blew up a gas pipeline in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, claiming it was connected to Israel.

Security sources earlier said the pipeline hit was a domestic one that connects to a power station in El-Arish, powering homes and factories in central Sinai. No casualties were reported.

Masked gunmen drove a four-wheel drive before detonating explosives in the attack, carried out around 80km west of the provincial capital El-Arish, the sources told AFP.

Some media reports in Egypt and Israel however said the section of pipeline hit was part of Israel's Leviathan offshore field that connects the two countries - claims denied to AFP by the Leviathan consortium.

But in a statement posted on its Telegram chat groups, ISIS said "caliphate soldiers targeted... the natural gas line linking the Jews and the apostate Egyptian government".

It claimed that the section of the pipeline hit was in the Sinai village of Al Teloul and that several explosive devices were used to blow it up, causing "material damage".

Last week the jihadist group encouraged its fighters to launch attacks against Israel as part of a "new phase" of its operations.

Israel began pumping natural gas to Egypt for the first time earlier this month under a $15 billion, 15-year landmark deal to liquefy it and re-export it to Europe.

Egypt's petroleum ministry did not react to a request for comment on Monday after ISIS claimed responsibility.

One of the two offshore fields managed by Israeli and American firms in the deal, Leviathan is estimated to hold 535 billion cubic metresof natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.

Egypt has previously exported gas to Israel but land sections of the export pipeline were targeted multiple times by Sinai militants in 2011 and 2012.

It hopes the recently inked deal will position it to become a regional gas hub.

The country has for years been fighting a hardened insurgency in North Sinai that escalated after the military's 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi following mass protests.

In February 2018, the army and police launched a nationwide operation against militants focused on North Sinai.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Children between 12 and 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a parent I am:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Relieved, it's been a long wait to this point
49% - 655 votes
A bit hesitant, and will wait to see how it goes
21% - 279 votes
Completely against my child getting the shot
30% - 398 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.41
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
19.93
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.80
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.83
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.5%
Gold
1,786.65
+0.3%
Silver
24.36
+0.1%
Palladium
2,079.19
+0.7%
Platinum
1,058.00
+0.5%
Brent Crude
85.82
+0.9%
Top 40
60,348
0.0%
All Share
66,895
0.0%
Resource 10
63,203
0.0%
Industrial 25
85,486
0.0%
Financial 15
14,008
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE