Wed, Jan 29, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Gas pipeline blown up in troubled Egyptian state

MORSI IN CAIRO:The former president was flown to Cairo by helicopter to stand trial over prison escapes he was involved in with members of Hamas and Hezbollah

AP, CAIRO

Egypt’s state news agency reported that gunmen have blown up a natural gas pipeline in the volatile Sinai Peninsula.

MENA said yesterday that the explosion took place late on Monday night south of el-Arish, the capital of the North Sinai governorate.

It said teams of firefighers rushed to the scene to extinguish a fire there.

Gas pipelines have come under attacks several times since the 2011 downfall of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. The last attack took place on Jan. 18.

The fall of Mubarak led to a fracturing of Egypt’s security agencies. Suicide bombings also have spiked and spilled into the capital and other cities. An al-Qaeda-inspired group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Champions of Jerusalem, has claimed responsibility for most of those attacks.

From the same report, Egypt’s state news agency said former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has arrived in Cairo for a trial over prison breaks in 2011.

The report yesterday said Morsi flew by helicopter from Borg al-Arab prison in Alexandria, while about 130 others involved in the case were driven to Cairo.

The case is rooted in the 2011 escape of more than 20,000 inmates — including Morsi — from Egyptian prisons.

Also charged are members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

A lawyer has said the trial appears aimed at “denigrating” Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group.

It is Morsi’s second court appearance since Egypt’s popularly backed July 3 military coup. He missed a Jan. 8 hearing in another trial after security officials said bad weather grounded a helicopter that was meant to transport him.

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