Militants bomb gas pipeline in Sinai

Fire put out quickly, but flow of gas to Jordan still disrupted, officials say

Natural gas flames in Egypt (illustrative photo: AP)
Natural gas flames in Egypt (illustrative photo: AP)

EL-ARISH, Egypt — Egyptian security officials say suspected Islamic militants have bombed a natural gas pipeline to Jordan south of the city of el-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula.

The attacks early Sunday on two points on the pipeline started fires that were soon put out, but the flow of gas was disrupted, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

It was the first attack on Egypt’s natural gas pipelines in Sinai in over a year.

In January, suspected Islamic militants attacked a police patrol along a Sinai pipeline, wounding seven policemen.

Last year, a terror group calling itself Ansar Al-Jihad claimed responsibility for more than a dozen bombings of the pipeline, with the intended goal of blocking the flow of natural gas to Israel.

The pipeline, designed to carry Egyptian natural gas to Israel, Jordan, Syrian and Lebanon, has functioned intermittently since the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian revolution caused the security situation in the Sinai to deteriorate.

Due to shortages in Egypt, it currently only supplies gas to Jordan.

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