The chief investigator into the gas terminal explosion in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula said it was caused by four masked gunmen who set off a bomb.

Egyptian Judge Abdel Nasser el-Tayeb said in a report Monday that the terminal's guards testified that the men stormed the terminal in two cars, briefly restrained the guards and then set off the explosives by remote control.

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Egypt's natural gas company had blamed the Saturday blast on a gas leak.

The blast and fire at the gas terminal in the Sinai town of El-Arish did not cause casualties.

The explosion sent a pillar of flames leaping into the sky, but was a safe distance from the nearest homes, said regional governor Abdel Wahab Mabrouk on Saturday. He added the fire was brought under control by mid-morning, after valves controlling the flow of gas were closed.

The terminal is part of a pipeline system that transports gas from Egypt’s Port Said, on the Mediterranean Sea, to Israel, Syria and Jordan. The Sinai Peninsula, home to Beduin tribesmen, has been the scene of clashes between residents and security forces.

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