5 Feb 2011

Egypt-Israel gas blast blamed on ‘terrorists’

“Terrorists” are to blame for an explosion at a north Sinai pipeline supplying gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan, according to Egyptian officials.

An explosion has hit a pipeline supplying gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan, according to reports.

Jordan has said gas supplies from Egypt are likely to remain halted for a week as a result.

Egyptian gas supplies generate 80 per cent of Jordan’s electricity. Israel gets 40 per cent of its natural gas from Egypt as part of a deal built on the 1979 peace according between the two countries.

Egyptian state television blamed the blast on saboteurs exploiting unrest inside the country.

The situation is very dangerous and explosions were continuing from one spot to another. Egyptian official, quoted on state TV

Meanwhile, thousands of anti-government demonstrators remain camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on the 12th day of protests demanding an end to the 30-year rule of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak.

The mood is reported to be calm, but scuffles between pro- and anti-Mubarak supporters were reported earlier today.

Yesterday some 200,000 protesters gathered in Cairo to demand President Mubarak’s removal from office in what was dubbed a “day of departure”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this morning that Egypt’s political transition should take place “as orderly but as expeditiously as possible”, following President Mubarak’s announcement that he will not stand for re-election.

She told a security conference in Munich that the president “has given a clear message to his government to lead and support this process of transition”.

Who Knows Who: Egypt in turmoil
We profile the main players in the Egyptian crisis, from Hosni Mubarak and Omar Suleiman to the Muslim Brotherhood, and look back at former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's connections with Egypt -

- Egypt on the brik: Mubarak to the Brotherhood
- Omar Suleiman: Egypt's vice-presidential spook
- Kissinger, Sadat and the Egypt connection