Blast hits Egypt gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan

An explosion hit an Egyptian pipeline feeding gas to Israel and Jordan on Sunday in the 10th such attack this year, Egyptian security services said.

The blast struck south of the town of El Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula and targeted a segment of pipeline which was gas-free as it was under repair.

The last attack on November 28, also near El Arish, was blamed on "saboteurs".

The pipeline, which carries gas through the Sinai and on to Israel and Jordan, has been attacked 10 times since President Hosni Mubarak's ouster.

Authorities have repeatedly announced security measures to protect the installations. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks.

The deliveries to Israel, which were agreed under Mubarak, have come under heavy criticism in Egypt amid accusations the gas is being undersold.

Israel generates 40 per cent of its electricity using natural gas, and Egypt provides 43 per cent of its supplies.

Egyptian gas also covers 80 percent of Jordan's needs for power generation -- 6.8 million cubic metres a day.

Security is a particularly sensitive issue in the Sinai as a result of tensions with the peninsula's Bedouin community.