(Adds details, background)
CAIRO, March 5 An Egyptian pipeline
carrying gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed on Monday, the 13th
such attack since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011,
The attack on the installation that crosses the increasingly
volatile Sinai region occurred in the Massaeed area west of the
Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish, in north Sinai.
Witnesses in al-Arish told Reuters that two blasts were set
off within 15 m (yards) of each other using remote-controlled
The bombs were planted by at least six armed men who arrived
in two pickup trucks, the witnesses added.
Security in Sinai was relaxed after Mubarak's fall as the
police presence thinned out across Egypt.
No group has claimed responsibility for the pipeline
Egypt's 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak
era, is unpopular with some Egyptians, with critics accusing
Israel of not paying enough for the fuel.
Previous explosions sometimes have forced weeks-long
shutdowns along the pipeline run by Gasco, a subsidiary of the
national gas company EGAS.
Gasco said it had resumed pumping gas to households and
industrial factories in al-Arish and began experimental pumping
to Jordan and Israel last week.
The pipeline has been shut since an explosion on Feb. 5.
Egypt said in November it would tighten security along the
pipeline by installing alarms and recruiting security patrols
from Bedouin tribesmen in the area.
(Reporting By Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Tamim Elyan; Editing by