Egyptian officials: Militants blow up gas pipeline in Sinai

Egyptian security officials said suspected Islamic State militants blew up a gas pipeline in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, causing a fire but no casualties.

EL ARISH, Egypt — Suspected Islamic State militants blew up a gas pipeline Saturday in Egypt’s troubled northern Sinai Peninsula, causing a fire but no casualties, security officials said.

Officials said the suspected militants planted explosives under a pipeline in the town of Bir al-Abd.

The eviction sent thick flames of fire into the sky and authorities stopped the flow of gas to put out the blaze, eyewitnesses said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media and the eyewitnesses asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which caused no human casualties.

The Islamic State group’s affiliate, which is centered in North Sinai, however, claimed that previous attacks targeted gas pipelines between Egypt, Jordan and Israel.

Egypt is battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in the Sinai that escalated after the army overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. Militants have carried out numerous attacks, mainly targeting security forces and Christians.

Saturday’s attack comes as the militants have suffered heavy casualties in recent months as Egyptian security forces, aided by armed tribesmen, have stepped up efforts to eliminate the group.

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