Pipeline blast cuts off gas supply from Egypt

Saboteurs reportedly blew up a pumping station in northern Sinai, in the third such incident in six months.

Part of the pipeline that transports gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan exploded this morning, Channel 2 news reports. The flow of gas to both Israel and Jordan has been completely cut off. Egyptian security sources reported this morning that the explosion was caused by explosives laid by saboteurs.

According to the report, armed men approached a pumping station in Bir al-Abd in the northern Sinai, put the guards to flight, and laid explosive charges. "An unknown truck arrived at the palace, from which men armed with rifles alighted and the guards simply fled," and Egyptian security source said.

This is the third incident of sabotage on the pipeline in the past six months.

No-one was hurt in the incident, but local residents reported hearing loud explosions. A fire broke out at the spot, but the precise extent of damage to the pipeline is at yet unknown.

"We do not yet have sufficient information, but the pattern of the incident is very similar to those of the two previous explosions in the past few months," another security source said.

The supply of gas was interrupted for a short time last night because of a breakdown, but it seems that there is no connection between the breakdown, apparently caused by liquid leaking into the pipe, and this morning's explosion.

The two previous incidents of sabotage occurred about 80 kilometers east, at El-Arish, in February and April this year. In both those incidents, saboteurs overcame the guards and blew up the pipeline.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 4, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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