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Egyptian natural gas pipeline closed

March 6, 2012 at 5:56 AM   |   Comments

CAIRO, March 6 (UPI) -- Natural gas deliveries through a pipeline north of Cairo were halted because a fire forced the line's closure, authorities said.

The governor of North Sinai and top security officials examined a fire that had been set along a pipeline carrying natural gas to Israel and Jordan.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the 13th since the Egyptian revolution in February 2011, the Egyptian Independent news service reports.

Energy officials were quoted by the news service as saying the pipeline was disconnected temporarily. It added that security in Sinai Peninsula has been lax since the government of Hosni Mubarak collapsed last year.

The pipeline was closed in February because of a similar attack. Experimental deliveries to downstream consumers in Israel and Jordan began last week.

A group calling itself Ansar al-Jihad said it was responsible an attack in December. In an Internet message, the group said it was loyal to the teachings of "the martyr Imam Osama bin Laden."

The Jordanian government is said to be examining the possibility of getting natural gas from Persian Gulf states or tap into liquefied natural gas from its neighbors, while Israel is examining its own natural gas supplies in the Mediterranean Sea.

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