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Sinai Terrorists Hit Gas Pipeline

Sinai-based terrorists blow up a pipeline that transports gas to Jordan, the latest in a series of similar attacks since 2011.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/26/2014, 2:14 AM

Flames rise from Egyptian pipeline (archive)
Flames rise from Egyptian pipeline (archive)
Reuters

Sinai-based terrorists on Tuesday night blew up a pipeline that transports gas to Jordan, security officials said, according to AFP.

This is the fourth such attack this year in the restive peninsula and the latest in dozens of attacks on the pipeline since the 2011 ouster of president Hosni Mubarak.

The attackers planted explosives under the pipeline south of the city of El-Arish in an area called Lehfen, the security officials told AFP.

The explosion sent thick flames of fire shooting into the sky, they said, adding that fire engines and ambulances had been rushed to the site.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties.

On February 11, terrorists planted a bomb under a pipeline that transported gas to an industrial area of the restive Sinai.

A previous attack on the gas pipeline took place on January 17, this time near a village in central Sinai called el-Riysan.

Some of the repeated attacks targeted a pipeline that supplied gas to Jordan and Israel, forcing Egypt to halt supplies to these two countries. Since that time Israel has begun to become more dependent on its own natural gas, so Egypt's abrupt cancellation of its contract to sell gas to Israel a year ago was, while very expensive for Israelis in the short run, not as damaging as Israelis initially feared in the longer run.

The constant terror attacks in the Sinai have only increased since the Egyptian army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.

The group spearheading the attacks, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, is inspired by Al-Qaeda. It has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.