Blast hits Egypt's gas pipeline to Jordan, Israel

Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:03am GMT
 

CAIRO Dec 18 (Reuters) - An Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed on Sunday, the 10th such attack this year, but no fire erupted because the line that runs through North Sinai was already disabled, a security source said.

The blast took place in an area five km (three miles) south of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish.

"The attack was carried out using remote-controlled explosives by unidentified assailants who arrived at the scene using four-wheel-drive vehicles," the source said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the series of pipeline attacks since a popular uprising toppled Mubarak in February. One attack took place just before he was ousted.

The latest blast broke the pipe, but no flames were seen as gas pumping has been halted since the last attack on Nov. 28.

The government said in November it would tighten security measures along the pipeline by installing alarm devices and recruiting security patrols from Bedouin tribesmen in the area.

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

Sinai has long been a restive area, where Bedouins complain of government neglect. It hosts several Red Sea resorts with five-star hotels, but Bedouins say they do not see the benefits.

Previous explosions have sometimes led to weeks-long shutdowns along the pipeline, run by Egypt's gas transport company Gasco, a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS. (Reporting By Tamim Elyan)

 
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