Militants sabotage Egypt-Jordan gas pipeline in Sinai

Attack coincides with bombing in Cairo following death sentences issued for seven militants

Flames rise from a natural gas pipeline explosion in el-Arish, Egypt, July 2011 (photo credit: AP/File)
Flames rise from a natural gas pipeline explosion in el-Arish, Egypt, July 2011 (photo credit: AP/File)

Militants in Sinai sabotaged a gas pipeline between Egypt and Jordan Tuesday night, according to a report in Israeli media.

Egyptian security forces are investigating the incident, according to Israel Radio.

Unconfirmed reports from Egypt indicated the attack occurred in El-Arish in northern Sinai.

The reported attack on the pipeline occurred at around the same time as an explosion in Cairo that left 12 people injured, just hours after an Egyptian court sentenced seven convicted militants to death — all but one in absentia — over the killing of 25 soldiers last year.

Egypt has been fighting militants in the Sinai Peninsula for much of the past year since former president Mohammed Morsi was toppled in a military coup in July 2013. The violence has spread to Cairo in a series of series of suicide bombings, assassinations and attacks in the capital.

Militants have also targeted gas pipelines between Egypt and both Jordan and Israel somewhat regularly since the 2011 uprising that toppled then president Hosni Mubarak. The situation has prompted Jordan to search elsewhere for natural gas supplies.

In September, Jordan’s electric company and the US Noble Energy group finalized a $15 billion dollar deal to supply Jordan with natural gas from Israel.

Jordan’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister said the deal would significantly help the national gas company which had suffered financially in past years, after gas exports from Egypt were stopped due to unrest.

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