gas pipeline 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Armed assailants in Sinai bombed a portion of the natural-gas pipeline between
Egypt, Israel and Jordan Friday about 60 kilometers from the northeast Sinai
city of El-Arish, Israel Radio reported.
Egyptian officials said that the
damage to the pipeline was small compared to other such explosions this year
because that portion of the pipeline is empty since the last explosion earlier
This blast was the eighth time terrorists have bombed the
pipeline this year.
Earlier this month, Egyptian authorities arrested a
top member of an Islamist terror group suspected of involvement in pipeline
bombings that have disrupted gas supplies to Israel and Jordan.
Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported that the detainee, Muhammad al-Teehi, was
also being investigated for an August terror attack in southern Israel that
killed eight people.
Residents of El-Arish confirmed that he belongs to a
“well-known religious current” but said he cannot move because of a car accident
that fractured his pelvis.
Egyptian officials say limits on troop numbers
in Sinai under a 1979 peace treaty with Israel make it harder to secure the
area, which local Bedouin say has been neglected for decades. Some have taken to
smuggling and gun-running to scrape a living.
Egypt’s 20-year gas deal
with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with the Egyptian public,
and critics argue that the Jewish state was not paying enough for the
Previous explosions have closed the pipeline, run by Gasco, Egypt’s
gas transport company, a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS, for
The armed forces launched a security sweep in August to root out
suspected Islamist gangs and, according to security sources at the time,
captured four Islamist militants as they prepared to blow up the pipeline in