'Egypt nabs terrorists trying to blow up Sinai pipeline'

Security official says forces seize four men with explosives and weapons near El-Arish gas pipeline, the target of 5 attacks this year.

August 17, 2011 02:22
2 minute read.
Flames from February attack on Sinai gas pipeline

Egypt gas pipeline blast 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

CAIRO - Egyptian security forces, pushing ahead with a crackdown on armed groups in lawless northern Sinai, on Tuesday seized four armed militants as they prepared to blow up a gas pipeline in the city of El-Arish, security sources said.

They said the military operation -- dubbed Operation Eagle -- began this week after a spike in attacks on security forces in Sinai since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in February.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Jewish Ideas Daily: The post-Mubarak Sinai
'Hamas refusing to hand over El-Arish terror suspects'

"Security guards captured four militants at the pipeline site. They possessed explosives and weapons," one security official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

The pipeline, target of much resentment from many Egyptians who say that the Mubarak government had been selling gas to Israel at below market rates, was attacked five times this year.

Egypt launched the military operation earlier this week after an assault on a police station in El-Arish on July 30 in which an army officer, two policemen and three civilians died.

Militants have formed alliances with armed Beduin tribesmen with strongholds in the rugged mountains of Sinai.

Sinai's population has a history of resentment towards the central government in Cairo, which has struggled to stamp its authority on the desert region bordering Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Sinai military operation hampered by peace treaty restrictions

Those efforts have been hampered partly by limits imposed by the 1979 peace treaty with Israel on the number of troops that could be deployed in Sinai.

An Egyptian army source said that Egypt, in coordination with Israel, deployed about 1,000 soldiers for the operation to root out an estimated 1,200-1,300 armed militants who had taken advantage of the security vacuum following Mubarak's downfall.

Egyptian security sources said the militants captured on Tuesday were the second group to be seized since the army operation began last week. On Monday, troops attacked militant hideouts, killing one gunman and arresting 11 militants, according to security sources.

An intelligence officer said around 100 armed men rode through the town in cars and on motorcycles before the attack on the police station in July, waving flags with Islamic slogans before launching the attack.

"The militants arrested today were linked to that Islamist militant group," the intelligence officer told Reuters without giving further details.

Some suspects are believed to be linked to al-Qaida while others were believed to be members of armed Palestinian groups from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, who had managed to enter Egypt through cross-border tunnels, he said.

Related Content

August 20, 2018
Erdogan invokes patriotism, Islam as lira remains under pressure