Egypt Arrests 16 Over Attacks On Gas Pipeline To Israel


egypt-gas-pipeline-explosionEgyptian security forces have arrested 16 suspects in connection with recurrent attacks on a pipeline for the supply of gas to Israel and Jordan, a security source said today.

The head of security in North Sinai, Saleh al-Masri, told DPA that the search for suspects began Saturday with police and the army deployed in Sinai.

The pipeline has been attacked seven times since a popular uprising forced former president Hosni Mubarak to step down in February. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

There is little support among Egyptians for the export of gas to Israel, which has been running since 2008 under a 15-year deal with preferential terms.

Those detained were also suspected in the killing of a police officer who had been guarding a bank and an attack on a police station in the city of al-Arish, al-Masri said.

Security forces were also searching for those behind the kidnapping of women and children in the city.

Security has been a major concern since Mubarak was ousted, with crime soaring despite promises by the government to plug a nationwide security vacuum.

{DPA/Yair Israel}