Saboteurs have blown up Egypt's gas pipeline to Jordan and Israel today, witnesses and security sources said, as the country holds its first free election since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.
The explosion struck the pipline west of al-Arish in Sinai, witnesses said. There was a second consecutive blast, about 100 meters away, sources said.
State news agency MENA said the explosion was in al-Sabeel area. Security forces and fire trucks raced to the scene.
Security sources said the explosions were detonated from a distance and that tracks from two vehicles were found in the area. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The pipeline, which supplies gas to Jordan and Israel, was last attacked on November 25. It is the eighth such attack since Mubarak stepped down on February 11. It is the ninth this year, with the first attack a few days before Mubarak was toppled.
Egypt's 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with the Egyptian public, with critics arguing that the Jewish state does not pay enough for the gas.