April 27, 2011 / 3:59 AM / 8 years ago

Egypt gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan attacked: source

CAIRO (Reuters) - Saboteurs blew up a pipeline running through Egypt’s North Sinai on Wednesday that supplies gas to Israel and Jordan, a security source told Reuters.

“An unknown armed gang attacked the gas pipeline near Arish city,” the security source said, adding that the flow of gas to Israel and Jordan had been hit.

“Authorities closed the main source of gas supplying the pipeline and are working to extinguish the fire,” the source said, adding there was a tower of flame at the scene.

An earlier attack on the same pipeline, located south of the North Sinai town of el-Arish, was staged on February 5 during an 18-day-uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power on February 11.

On Saturday, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered former Energy Minister Sameh Fahmy and six other officials to stand trial on charges of squandering public funds related to the natural gas deal with Israel.

The decision, part of a probe on graft during the 30-year-rule of Mubarak, said the deal in question caused Egypt losses worth more than $714 million and enabled a local businessman to make financial profits.

Israel gets 40 percent of its natural gas from Egypt, a deal built on their landmark 1979 peace accord.

Reporting by Marwa Awad; Editing by Jon Hemming

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