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Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan attacked again

The Sinai Peninsula pipeline has been targeted by explosions seven times since February
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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. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

An explosion targeted a natural gas pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula early on Thursday morning, disrupting the flow of gas from Egypt to Israel for the seventh time this year.

Egyptian state media reported that the blast occurred in the early hours near the northern Sinai town of Al-Arish. A second explosion reportedly occurred near pumping station near Al-Arish, but it was not immediately clear if this was the result of an attack.

A Reuters report, citing unnamed Egyptian security sources, said that saboteurs used home-made bombs to strike the pipeline.

More from GlobalPost: Egypt gas pipeline attacked by gunmen

"Primary examination showed that Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) were put under the pipeline and were detonated from a distance," a security source told Reuters. "The attackers used two trucks and extended wires were found at the scene."

It was the seventh attack to target the Sinai pipeline since the February ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

Security officials told the Associated Press that Thursday’s attack left the pipeline destroyed, halting exports - just one month after it had been repaired since the last strike.

More from GlobalPost: Israel's gas supply under threat

Israel receives around 40 percent of its natural gas supplies from Egypt.

The gas deal between Cairo and Tel Aviv, first signed during the Mubarak era, has been widely criticized in Egypt.

Many Egyptians believe that the deal led to unregulated profits and corruption for members of the former regime, including Mubarak. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-casbah/egyptian-gas-pipeline-israel-jordan-attacked-again