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Egypt’s Gas Export Pipeline Hit by 10th Explosion This Year

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s North Sinai gas pipeline, which transports gas to Israel and Jordan, was attacked for the 10th time this year, Egyptian Natural Gas Co. Chairman Magdi Tawfik said.

Unidentified attackers planted two explosive devices beneath the pipeline near the city of El Arish even as it was being repaired following a similar attack last month, Egypt’s Oil Ministry said in a faxed statement today. There were no casualties, the ministry said.

Gas was not flowing in the pipeline at the time of today’s attack and the company is still assessing the damage, Tawfik said by telephone in Cairo today.

A spokesman at East Mediterranean Gas Co., which owns and operates the undersea extension, did not answer a phone call seeking comment.

“The attack targeted one of the tubes in the network as it was being repaired,” Tawfik said. “We will continue with the repairs.”

The incident underscores Egypt’s challenge in securing the pipeline, jeopardizing a key source of foreign-currency income and threatening to worsen its already soured relations with its eastern neighbor.

The attack is the latest in a series that have affected the gas pipeline infrastructure in the Sinai since February, when a popular uprising forced former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Galal in Cairo at ogalal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mahmoud Kassem at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

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