Suspected Islamic militants blow up natural gas pipeline

ASHRAF SWEILAM, Associated Press

Suspected Islamic militants blow up natural gas pipeline

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Security officials say suspected Islamic militants have blown up and set fire to a natural gas pipeline outside el-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai.

The officials say all roads leading to the area have been closed after the explosion, which took place early Tuesday morning.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis or Champions of Jerusalem, a jihadi group based in the Sinai Peninsula, had claimed responsibility for several such bombings and attacks on security forces. It pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group last month at the time an Egyptian court designated it and all its affiliates as terrorist organizations and banned them from the country.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity according to protocol.

The official news agency MENA said the national gas company stopped the flow of the gas.

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