Egypt militants bomb gas pipeline to Jordan

A Hamas policeman (R) standing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt, on 5 July 2013, talks to an Egyptian soldier standing in the Egyptian side of the border. (Photo: AFP - Said Khatib)

Published Sunday, July 7, 2013

Attackers in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula bombed a gas pipeline to Jordan on Sunday, witnesses said, amid a surge in attacks on police and soldiers since Islamist president Mohammed Mursi's ouster.

Witnesses told AFP the blast took place near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish, scene of major disturbances since Mursi's overthrow by the military on Wednesday.

On Friday, armed Mursi supporters stormed the provincial headquarters, raising the black banner used by al-Qaeda-affiliated militants, an AFP correspondent reported.

A Jordanian government official confirmed that gas supplies to the energy-poor kingdom were cut.

"The gas supplies to Jordan stopped due to the attack," the official told state-run Petra news agency.

"The Egyptian authorities have informed us that they are currently evaluating the situation and the damage," he added without elaborating.
Egyptian gas covers 80 percent of electricity generation in Jordan, which imports 95 percent of its energy needs.

But Sunday's bombing was the first reported in almost a year.

Five security officers were killed at their checkpoints in Sinai on Friday and four other checkpoints were attacked on Saturday.

A priest was killed at one checkpoint by a group of militants, according to security sources.

(AFP, Reuters)

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