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Egypt gas pipeline attacked by gunmen

Masked assailants destroyed a section of the northern Sinai pipeline.
Egypt israel natural gas pipeline sinai 07 12 11Enlarge
Egyptian security stand in the vicinity of flames following an attack by saboteurs on an Egyptian gas pipeline on July 12, 2011, at al-Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula, the fourth time since February, cutting supplies to Israel and Jordan, the official Egyptian MENA news agency reported. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Gunmen attacked a section of the pipeline that provides natural gas to both Israel and Jordan, reported the Associated Press on Tuesday, the fourth such incident in the northern Sinai since Egypt's uprising began in late January.

At least four masked men carried out the attack, which destroyed a natural gas inspection station near the city of Al-Arish, about 30 miles from the Egyptian borders with Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The AP reports on how the attack happened:

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.

The massive explosion ripped through the terminal, creating a 30-foot-tall blaze that could reportedly be seen for miles.

The Tuesday morning attack on the pipeline was the second this month. On July 4, armed assailants used explosives to destroy a section of the pipeline. Repairs on the line were due to be completed later this week, according to the independent Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.

The pipeline was also attacked in early February and in April.

Many Egyptians complained during the country's revolution that corrupt allies of former president Hosni Mubarak illegally profited by selling discounted gasoline to Israel.

Israel has argued that it purchases Egyptian natural gas at market prices.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-casbah/egypt-gas-pipeline-attacked-gunmen