Blast at Egypt gas pipeline

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 05, 2011 12:44 hrs

Cairo, Feb 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Egyptian Army has stopped the gas flow at a pipeline in Egypt's North Sinai following an explosion, the governor of the province said Saturday.

The explosion at the pipeline, which supplies gas to Israel, occurred Saturday morning near the Egyptian town of El Arish, close to the Egyptian-Israeli border.

The governor told state television that a gas station located near the blast site was not damaged. The explosion has not hit the residential areas, he added.

The state television reporter blamed the blast on 'terrorists who took advantage of the unstable security situation in the country'.

The Egyptian opposition had earlier called to shut the Egyptian gas supplies to Israel citing security threat. Israel voiced concerns that the shutdown of the pipeline could bring severe damage to the country.

Egypt was the first Arab country to officially recognise Israel and sign a peace agreement with the Israeli government in 1979. The move has been criticised both in Egypt and the Arab world.