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Militants blow up Sinai gas pipeline

By AFP - Feb 12,2014 - Last updated at Feb 12,2014

CAIRO — Suspected militants blew up a gas pipeline in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday and gunmen shot dead a policeman in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, security officials said.

Attacks in the Sinai and violence targeting soldiers and policemen across Egypt have surged since the military’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.

In Ismailia, two unknown gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead the policeman while he was standing at a traffic light, officials said.

Since January 23, 18 policemen have been killed in militant attacks, according to an AFP tally based on reports by security officials.

In the Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip, militants Tuesday planted a bomb under a pipeline that transports gas to an industrial area south of Al Arish city, security officials said.

No one was injured in the attack, the fourth this year in the restive peninsula.

The army has poured troops into the mountainous and underdeveloped Sinai Peninsula

to combat the growing militancy.

Militants had previously forced a halt to gas supplies to Israel and Jordan by repeatedly targeting the pipeline following the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

An attack on January 27 was claimed by an Al Qaeda inspired group, Ansar Beit Al Maqdis or Partisans of Jerusalem.

The group has claimed most of the deadliest attacks in Egypt since the army ousted Morsi, saying that they were in revenge for a deadly crackdown by the security forces on his supporters.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown, according to Amnesty International, and thousands jailed.

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