Sinai Peninsula terrorists blew up the Egyptian-Israeli pipeline for the 15th time Sunday, another sign of the area being under the control of a de facto terror state.
All of the attacks have taken place since the uprising against ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. Since then, the collapsed Egyptian government and the subsequent provisional military regime have lost control of the Sinai, which has been overrun by terrorists, many of them linked with Hamas or Al Qaeda. No group has taken responsibility for the latest attack, but Bedouin terrorists have been behind most of the explosions.
Sunday’s blast rocked the area east of the coastal Sinai town of el-Arish, at a point before the pipeline splits into separate branches to Israel and Jordan, security officials and witnesses told Reuters.
Gunmen in a small truck drove up to the pipeline, dug a hole and placed explosive charges under the pipeline that they detonated from a distance, a security official and witnesses added.
Flames of burning gas could be seen up to 30 km (18 miles) away, as sources said later they could see flames of residual burning gas lighting the sky. The flow of gas has been halted for three months since the last explosion, but Reuters reported that residents said gas shipments had begun three days ago through the pipeline.
Following the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a the dominant power in Egypt, Cairo canceled a 20-year agreement to supply Israel with gas.
The emergence of the Sinai as an undeclared state ruled by terrorist clans is a major concern to the United States as well as Israel and Egypt, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her whirlwind visit to the region last week.