Blast hits Egypt gas pipeline serving Jordan, Israel

Pipeline remains closed from similar explosion in February; 13th such attack since Mubarak's fall.

By REUTERS
March 5, 2012 21:26
Egypt gas pipeline after attack in Sinai [file]

Egypt Pipeline Explosion 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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CAIRO - An Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed on Monday, the 13th such attack since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011, witnesses said.

The attack on the installation that crosses the increasingly volatile Sinai region occurred in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish, in north Sinai.

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Witnesses in al-Arish told Reuters that they could see flames from their town when the attack took place.

Security in Sinai was relaxed after Mubarak's fall as the police presence thinned out across Egypt.

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

Gasco said that it resumed pumping gas to households and Industrial factories in al-Arish and began experimental pumping to Jordan and Israel last week.

The pipeline has been shut down since a similar explosion on February 5.

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