Unidentified assailants attacked a gas pipeline in the area of Risan in central Sinai on Friday evening. The attack was carried out using improvised explosive devices and ignited a fire in the area around the pipeline. A source with the Egyptian Natural Gas Company (GASCO) confirmed that after the explosion took place, the company sent its engineers to the site immediately to survey the damage.
Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi condemned the attack in a statement issued on Saturday, stressing that state would not tolerate “terrorist elements” tampering with “Egypt’s economic potential”, adding that the government would address such criminal acts “with full force”.
El-Beblawi also said: “Sinful terrorism will not dissuade Egypt and its great people from moving forward with the implementation of the roadmap of the future.”
The prime minister said he was following up with “all stakeholders” concerning developments in the Sinai region and called on “all parties to uphold the higher interests of the nation above any narrow interests”.
On 31 December another GASCO pipeline was attacked 50 kilometres south of Al-Arish. Attacks on pipelines in the volatile peninsula increased following the 25 January Revolution, and have continued amidst increasing security complications following former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster last July.
Additional reporting by Nasser Al-Azzazi