Saboteurs bomb Egypt gas pipeline to Jordan
Saboteurs bombed an Egyptian gas pipeline in the Sinai peninsula on Monday, sending flames into the sky and cutting supplies to Jordan, a security official said.
Officials said a car had parked near the pipeline in the Bir al-Abd area, 80 kilometres (about 50 miles) from the north Sinai town of El-Arish, shortly before the explosion.
They said the bomb was activated remotely.
Emergency services were deployed to the area to try to bring the fire under control, an official said.
Witnesses said the flames reached as high as 10 metres (32 feet). There were no immediate reports of casualties.
It was the third attack since February, when an uprising toppled former president Hosni Mubarak and saw power handed over to a military council.
On April 27, the pipeline in the Al-Sabil area in north Sinai was also attacked, cutting off international gas supplies.
In February, attackers used explosives against the pipeline in the town of Lihfren in north Sinai, near the Gaza Strip.
There was also a failed attempt to attack the pipeline in March.
Jordan, which buys 95 percent of its energy needs, imports about 240 million cubic feet (6.8 million cubic metres) of Egyptian gas a day, or 80 percent of its electricity requirements.
In April, Egypt's Prime Minister Essam Sharaf asked for the revision of all contracts to supply gas abroad.
Sharaf said the contracts would be revisited so the gas "would be sold with deserved prices that achieve the highest returns for Egypt."
In May, Jordan said Egypt was withholding its contracted gas supply to energy-poor Jordan unless a new deal was signed at a higher price.
Under a 14-year deal signed in 2002, Egypt used to sell gas to Jordan at a dicounted price -- half of the market price, or ê3 (2.16 euros) per million British Thermal Units (1,000 cubic feet of gas equals 1.027 million BTU).
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