Masked gunmen blew up a terminal of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan in a predawn attack Tuesday, security officials said.Bikya Masr adds:
The officials said the attack was carried out by at least four assailants. The terminal is located in the city of El-Arish in the northern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of the Israeli border.
The attackers ordered the guards on duty to leave and then blew up the terminal, starting a huge fire that sent flames shooting into the air that lit up the night sky, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
No one claimed responsibility for Tuesday's 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.
It is unclear what the extent of the damage is, but comes less than 48 hours after Egyptian authorities reported they would have all repairs to damage on the pipeline from an earlier explosion completed this week.It is indeed ironic that Jordan gets hurt, more than Israel does, whenever this happens. Hurting Jews is such a supreme priority that hurting other Arabs is a small price to pay for the privilege.
The pipeline was damaged on July 4 in an explosion in the Bir Abd region at Nagah in the northern Sinai Peninsula. According to officials, a group of men in a small truck forced the guards to leave the station at gunpoint before planting an explosive device.
That explosion was the third of its kind this year, following attacks on February 5 near the Sinai the Arish compression station and April 27 near the village of el-Sabil, which cut off the flow of natural gas for weeks.
In March, an attempted explosion near el-Sabil failed when the device did not detonate.