Thursday, November 10, 2011

10-Nov-11: Israel-bound gas pipe attacked and blown up by Egyptians yet again

"Saboteurs blew up the gas pipeline between Egypt, Israel and Jordan on Thursday in Northern Sinai using remote controlled bombs, forcing it to shut down, Egyptian security sources said.

The first blast, the sixth [but Associated Press the seventh] since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak and the seventh this year, was near Mazar area, 18 miles west of the town of Al-Arish, security sources and witnesses said... The pipeline has been a target for attacks by anonymous saboteurs since the overthrow of Mubarak in February... Egypt and Israel have signed a 20-year natural gas deal by which Egypt would export gas to its neighbour. The deal was unpopular with the Egyptian public and critics argued the Jewish state had been offered gas at prices that were too low. A company official from East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG), which exports Egyptian gas to Israel, had said in July that international shareholders in the firm were pursuing legal claims against Egypt for $8 billion in damages from contract violations in gas supplies. That followed disruptions caused by pipeline attacks."  (Reuters)

Earlier this week, an Egyptian paper reported that "Egyptian authorities have installed an early warning system to protect gas pipelines in the Sinai Peninsula after a wave of attacks... The head of the governmental Egyptian Company for Natural Gas, Magdi Tawfiq, told the independent newspaper Al Masry Al Youm that security was being tightened for the pipelines."

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