Explosion hits gas pipeline in Sinai peninsula between Egypt and Jordan

Sunday 07 July 2013 16.47
Egypt has been thrown into turmoil since the removal of Mohammed Mursi
Egypt has been thrown into turmoil since the removal of Mohammed Mursi

An explosion has hit an Egyptian gas pipeline in the Sinai peninsula following a spate of attacks on security checkpoints.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the pipeline blast yesterday or if the recent attacks were in reaction to the Egyptian army's overthrow of President Mohammed Mursi.

The fire caused by the explosion was under control early this morning, state media reported.

The pipeline, which supplies gas to Jordan, has been attacked more than ten times since Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, was ousted in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings.

No one was injured during the latest explosion, state news agency MENA quoted officials at the gas company as saying.

Meanwhile, the choice of Mohamed ElBaradei as interim prime minister has been thrown into doubt by Islamist objections.

Mr ElBaradei's nomination had been confirmed by several sources and state media yesterday, but just before midnight local time a presidential spokesman told reporters that the prime minister had not in fact been chosen.

The abrupt U-turn came amid opposition to the appointment by the Nour Party, Egypt's second Islamist force after Mr Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.

It highlighted the challenge the military faces in finding consensus among liberals and conservatives on who should run the country.

Clashes between tens of thousands of pro- and anti-Mursi protesters swept the nation on Friday and at least 35 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement called for further protests today.

The Brotherhood has said it wants nothing to do with the military's plans for a new interim government. It wants Mr Mursi reinstated and has pledged to keep protesting until he is.