Last updated: 28 January, 2014

Egypt militants blow up gas pipeline in Sinai

Suspected militants blew up a pipeline in Egypt’s Sinai that transports gas to Jordan late Monday in the third such attack in less than a month, security officials said.

The officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries, but witnesses said thick flames rose into the sky from the spot where the pipeline was struck.

Witnesses also said that ambulances had rushed to the scene.

Egyptian security officials said the pipeline was blown up in an area called Muqtadiba, south of Al-Arish.

On January 17 and December 31, militants had blown up a section of a pipeline supplying an industrial area in the restive Sinai peninsula.

Militants had previously forced a halt to gas supplies to Israel and Jordan by repeatedly targeting the pipeline following the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

Attacks in Sinai against soldiers and policemen have surged again following the military’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.

Five soldiers were killed Saturday when a military helicopter was shot down with a surface-to-air missile in Sinai, an unprecedented attack claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem), a group inspired by Al-Qaeda.