Saturday, February 05, 2011

Gas pipeline attacked in Egypt (updated)

From Ma'an:
An Egyptian-Israeli gas pipeline targeted by an explosion early Saturday in the Sinai supplied Jordan with gas, according to Egyptian officials who said the line was connected to others used by Israel.

The Israeli-Egyptian gas company, East Mediterranean Gas, said attackers blew up a measuring station at the Jordanian sub-line.

The attackers used explosives against the pipeline in the town of Lihfen in northern Sinai, near the Gaza Strip, a security official said. Some media initially said the pipeline to Israel was attacked.

The pipeline which exploded originates in Port Said before it splits off in two directions, one toward Israel and the other to Jordan through the Sinai, Ma'an's El-Arish correspondent reported from the scene.

"The pipeline to Jordan has been attacked and the supply to Israel has been cut off," an official said.

Security sources said foreign saboteurs were suspected and Bedouin forces were on heightened alert.

Egyptian forces shut down the gas supply from the main source immediately after the explosion. The army has taken precautionary measures to stop the fire from spreading, an official said.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible, or whether the attack was linked to the deadly protests against President Hosni Mubarak's rule, which entered their 12th day Saturday.
Egyptians have been vocally opposed Egypt's selling natural gas to Israel, and it seems likely that the saboteurs were trying to blow up the Israel pipeline and made a mistake.

UPDATE: Jordan says that the bombing is going to cost the kingdom some 3 million dinars a day.