Sunday, March 25, 2012

Egypt: Gas pipeline to Israel bombed for 13th time

Associated Press
Militants attack Egypt gas pipeline for 13th time

March 5, 2012

Ashraf Sweilam

Militants again target Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel for 13th time since Egyptian uprising

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) -- Militants again blew up a gas pipeline in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula that transports fuel to neighboring Israel and Jordan, Egyptian security officials said Monday.

The attack on the pipeline was the 13th since the popular uprising that ousted longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak last year.

Police officials said militants attacked the pipeline just outside the north Sinai city of el-Arish Monday evening. There were no details on the extent of damage. Previous explosions have shut down gas flow for days or weeks.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with police rules, said that the gas was also used by residents in el-Arish.

Residents said they could see large plumes of black smoke and fire from as far as 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.

Officials said the militants buried explosives in the sand in the same area where the pipeline was attacked last month.

The security officials said the bombing came just three days after the pipeline was repaired and shipments to Israel and Jordan resumed.

Previous bombings of the pipeline have been blamed on Islamist militants who have stepped up activity in the Sinai, taking advantage of a security vacuum caused by a thin police presence in the post-Mubarak era.

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