Bombing attempt on Egypt-Israel gas pipeline fails

Gunmen overpower guard and plant explosive device at gas terminal near el-Arish in Sinai; soldiers defuse bomb, suspects flee.

A natural gas pipeline [illustrative]. (photo credit: Courtesy)
A natural gas pipeline [illustrative].
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Six gunmen in Sinai targeted the pipeline that carries natural gas from Egypt  to Israel and Jordan on Sunday, overpowering a guard and planting an explosive device before fleeing, The Associated Press reported.
The explosive device failed to detonate and was eventually defused by soldiers at the gas terminal in the village of el-Sabil near el-Arish, AP quoted an Egyptian security official as saying.
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Last month, the Egyptian army deployed hundreds of additional soldiers to the northern Sinai Peninsula to guard the pipeline.
An Israeli defense official said Jerusalem had agreed to the deployment, which followed a February 5 explosion at a gas terminal in the area that disrupted the flow of gas to Israel and Jordan. Security officials said a bomb had caused the blast at the el- Arish terminal, while Egypt’s natural gas company said it had been caused by a gas leak.
The blast and fire at the gas terminal in 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. He added the fire was brought under control by mid-morning, after valves controlling the flow of gas were closed.
The flow of natural gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan was cut off until March 16 as a result of the blast.