Egypt militants blow up Sinai gas pipeline

Photo: Egypt militants blow up Sinai gas pipeline / Arabic region

A pipeline in Egypt's Sinai that transports gas to Jordan was blown up by suspected militants late on Monday, security officials said.

The attack is the third of its kind in less than a month, according to Agence France-Presse. There were no immediate reports of injuries, but ambulances had rushed to the scene after witnesses saw "thick flames" rising into the sky, Al Arabiya reported.

The pipeline was blown up in an area called Muqtadiba, south of el-Arish, officials told AFP.

A surge in militant activity has been reported in the Sinai Peninsula following the military's overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi in July. Within Cairo and other prominent Egyptian cities, a spate of recent deadly bombings has been claimed by an al-Qaeda-inspired group named Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.

Most of the attacks have been targeting police stations and security buildings.

In an unprecedented attack, five soldiers were killed on Saturday when a military helicopter was shot down with a surface-to-air missile in Sinai. The attack was also claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.

On Jan. 17 and Dec. 31, militants had blown up a section of a pipeline supplying an industrial area in the restive Sinai peninsula.

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