Egypt detains man over gas pipeline blasts, says MENA

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CAIRO: Security personnel have arrested a 20-year-old Egyptian man on suspicion of involvement in some of the 10 attacks this year on an Egyptian pipeline that carries gas to Israel and Jordan, state news agency MENA reported on Tuesday.

All but one of the attacks on the pipeline have taken place since the uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in February. The pipeline has been struck at locations near the North Sinai coastal city of al-Arish.

"The security forces have managed to find one of the participants involved in the explosions on the gas pipeline," MENA reported, without naming a source.

The suspect was named only as Mohamed S. M. and was reported to live in Arish. MENA said he was also accused of involvement in an attack on a police station in Arish earlier this year.

MENA said the authorities found the suspect’s laptop contained files on how to manufacture and use weapons and explosives.

Attacks on the pipeline, run by gas transport company Gasco, a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS, have sometimes led to long shutdowns.

The Egyptian government said in November it would tighten security measures along the pipeline by installing alarm devices and by recruiting security patrols from Bedouin tribes in the area.

Security in Sinai, where many people possess weapons, became more lax after Mubarak’s fall as the police presence thinned out across Egypt.

Sinai has long been a restive area, where Bedouins complain of government neglect. It hosts several Red Sea resorts with five-star hotels, but Bedouins say they do not see the benefits.

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