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Armed group blows up gas pipeline in Sinai

An unknown militia blew up on Tuesday night the pipeline that passes through the Sinai, which is used to export Egyptian natural gas to Jordan, security sources and witnesses have reported. This is the fourth such attack since the beginning of this year.

The witnesses said that they saw eight armed militants in two 4X4 pickups leaving the place of the explosion after they heard the massive sound. They noted the flames and that ambulances rushed to the scene, but security sources have not spoken about any human casualties.

Since the beginning of 2014, Egypt’s gas pipelines have been attacked four times. The last incident, before this explosion, took place two weeks ago. The explosions have targeted several locations of the pipeline that is used to export gas to Jordan.

The pipeline leading to the industrial zone for heavy industries in the Sinai was also targeted on 31 December 2013. It is a local pipeline.

Unknown militias started targeting gas pipelines in the Sinai after the Egyptian revolution against ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

In the beginning, the explosions targeted pipelines used to transfer Egyptian gas to both Israel and Jordan. Egypt suspended exporting gas to Israel, but the explosions continued.

More recently, the Egyptian army has been waging a massive military operation in an attempt to crack down on the armed militias operating in the Sinai since the ouster of Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi, on 3 July 2013.

The army stated that it has demolished dozens of facilities owned by the militias, as well as killed dozens of militia members.

Furthermore, following the claims that the militias were planning attacks on the Sinai from the Gaza Strip, the army closed all the tunnels with Gaza, strengthening the Israeli siege.

However, armed violence still continues and has caused the death of at least 100 Egyptian soldiers and policemen.

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