Egypt investigator: Pipeline explosion caused by bomb

Judge issues report with testimony from guards saying men stormed the terminal, restrained guards and detonated explosives via remote control.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
February 7, 2011 17:06
1 minute read.
Gas pipeline explosion in El-Arish, Egypt

Gas Pipeline Blast 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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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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RELATED:
Gas firm blames Sinai pipeline blast on leak, not sabotage
Pipeline blast prompts calls to speed gas development

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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