In two separate attacks, a device was detonated and led to an explosion along a natural gas pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula, while a policeman was shot dead in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya on Tuesday morning, according to security sources.
Tuesday’s bombing is the twentieth such attack on this pipeline since the uprising of 2011, and the fourth targeting of the pipeline since the beginning of 2014.
The pipeline previously serviced Israel, and still services Jordan, while also supplying natural gas to the Egyptian army’s cement factories in the peninsula.
The explosion is reported to have taken place in central Sinai near the Town of Al-Reysan — located around 40 kilometres south of Al-Arish City.
Although the armed Islamist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdes, claimed responsibility for the last attack on the pipeline, no group has so far come forward regarding this incident.
A team of prosecutors and investigators has been deployed to the site of the explosion to assess the scene and question eyewitnesses, in the hope of identifying and apprehending the culprits, according to judicial sources.
In a separate, and apparently unrelated incident, a policeman was shot dead in the central Suez Canal City of Ismailiya on Tuesday.
The policeman was employed in Ismailiya’s traffic department, and was conducting traffic when he was shot. Eyewitnesses claim that unidentified assailants on a motorcycle opened fire on the policeman and then fled the scene.
Prosecutors have also been dispatched to investigate this crime scene and to question eyewitnesses.
Sources from the Interior Ministry have labeled both the bombing of the Sinai gas pipeline and the killing of the policeman in Ismailiya as “terrorist attacks.”