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

A security official in Egypt said on Friday that terrorists have blown up a natural gas pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula.

According to The Associated Press (AP), the official said a strong explosion rocked a village in central Sinai called el-Riysan, after explosives were planted beneath the gas pipeline connected to cement factories in the area.

The official said there were no casualties. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.

Gas pipelines in Egypt has been attacked more than a dozen times since the revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The last attack took place a little over two weeks ago.

Some of the 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.

Most recently the group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a security building in the city of Mansoura killed 14 people and wounded more than 100 others. Egypt also fingered Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for this attack and branded the group a terrorist organization.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)