Militants attack gas pipeline in Egypt's Sinai

ASHRAF SWEILAM
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FILE - In this Tuesday, July 12, 2011 file photo, Egyptian Bedouins watch as smoke and flames rise into the air after masked gunmen blew up a terminal of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan in el-Arish, in the northern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, in a predawn attack. Militants on Monday April 9, 2012 again blew up a gas pipeline in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula that transports fuel to neighboring Israel and Jordan, a senior Egyptian security official said. The attack on the pipeline was the 14th time it was targeted since the popular uprising that ousted longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak last year. (AP Photo, File)

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian security official says militants have blown up a gas pipeline in the country's Sinai Peninsula that used to transport fuel to Israel.

The attack was the 15th on the pipeline since last year's popular uprising that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. Previous bombings of the pipeline have been blamed on Islamist militants who have stepped up their activity in Sinai, taking advantage of a security vacuum caused by the thin police presence in the post-Mubarak era.

The official said Sunday's blast did not cause major damage but set fire to a small quantity of gas left in the pipeline from when the flow was cut following a March attack. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to brief the media.