New blast hits Egypt gas pipeline to Jordan, Israel

Attack is the 14th to hit Sinai since Mubarak's fall; pipeline remains closed from similar explosion in February.

April 9, 2012 04:29
Egypt gas pipeline after attack in Sinai [file]

Egypt Pipeline Explosion 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

CAIRO  - An explosion hit the Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan on Monday for 14th time since the uprising against president Hosni Mubarak began last year, security sources said.

The blast took place in the northern Sinai at the entrance of the Mediterranean coastal town of Al-Arish. Residents in the city told Reuters they had heard the sound of the explosion.

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No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks on the installation that crosses the increasingly volatile Sinai Peninsula. Security in Sinai was relaxed after the fall of Mubarak as the police presence thinned out across Egypt.

The pipeline has been shut since an explosion on February 5.

Egypt's 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with some Egyptians, with critics accusing Israel of not paying enough for the fuel.

Previous explosions sometimes have forced weeks-long shutdowns along the pipeline run by Gasco, a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS.

Egypt said in November it would tighten security along the pipeline by installing alarms and recruiting security patrols from Bedouin tribesmen in the area.

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