An explosion has hit an Egyptian gas pipeline in the lawless Sinai peninsula following a spate of attacks on security checkpoints in recent days, state television and witnesses said.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the pipeline blast on Saturday or if the recent attacks were in reaction to the Egyptian army’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday.
The fire caused by the explosion was under control by early Sunday morning, state media reported.
The pipeline, which supplies gas to Jordan, has been attacked more than 10 times since Egypt’s former president, Hosni Mubarak, was ousted in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings.
No one was injured during the latest explosion, state news agency MENA quoted officials at the gas company as saying.
Five security officers were killed at their checkpoints in Sinai on Friday and four other checkpoints were attacked on Saturday.
A priest was killed at one checkpoint by a group of militants, according to security sources.
Egypt has struggled to control the security in the peninsula since Mubarak’s departure. Hard-line Islamist groups took advantage of the collapse of security that followed and launched many attacks on army and police troops there.