CAIRO - An explosion on Sunday rocked the Egyptian pipeline built to carry natural gas to Israel and Jordan, the 15th time it has been attacked since the start of the uprising in early 2011 that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

The blast occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning at al-Tuwail, east of the coastal Sinai town of al-Arish, at a point before the pipeline splits into separate branches to Israel and Jordan, security officials and witnesses said.

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 said.

A large boom echoed across the area and residents up to 30 km away said later they could see flames of burning gas lighting the sky.

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