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Blast hits Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan

July 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Masked gunmen blew up a strategic Egyptian gas pipeline that carries fuel to Jordan and Israel on Monday.

The explosion targeted a pumping station about 65 miles south of the coastal city of El-Arish in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

The officials said the attackers, armed with assault rifles, arrived in two pickup trucks without number plates and forced the three security guards on duty to leave before placing the explosives and shooting the pipeline's valves to release the gas.

It's the third explosion to hit the pipeline since an uprising overthrew Egypt's longtime leader Hosni Mubarak five months ago.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said there were no casualties.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. 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 Associated Press contributed to this story


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