Egyptian security: Militants blow up gas pipeline in north Sinai
Published Tuesday 11/02/2014 (updated) 12/02/2014 22:20
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egyptian security sources said militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula early Tuesday blew up a gas pipeline south of El-Arish.
A security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ma'an that militants affiliated with the al-Qaeda-inspired group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis destroyed parts of a pipeline that supplies natural gas to Jordan and central Sinai.
Witnesses said a fire broke out along the pipeline after a loud explosion was heard. They said Egyptian security managed to control the fire.
Egyptian armed forces launched large-scale military action against militants in the Sinai Peninsula in September, in what officials have described as the largest mobilization of force in the area since the 1973 war with Israel.
The military action comes in the wake of rising instability in the region, following the Egyptian army's July overthrow of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Armed groups have taken advantage of the relatively lawless situation in the Sinai to increase levels of smuggling and human trafficking.