Blast hits Egypts gas pipeline

Masked assailants blew up the Egyptian pipeline that carries gas to Israel and Jordan on July 4, starting a fire that burned for hours and disrupting the flow of the gas, security officials said.

By July 6, Egypt had resumed supplying gas to Israel, but only between 30 and 40 percent of the agreed-upon amount, according to a Reuters report.

No one claimed immediate responsibility for the explosion but disgruntled Bedouin tribesmen in the area have been blamed for attacking the pipeline in the past. Islamists opposed to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel have also been suspected.

The blast targeted a pumping station at a location about 65 miles south of the Mediterranean coastal city of El-Arish in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. El-Arish is 30 miles west of Israel’s border. — jta