CAIRO (AP) — An explosion at a natural gas pipeline in restive northern Sinai Peninsula caused a fire but little other damage and there were no casualties, a senior Egyptian official said.
Gen. Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, who governs the northern part of the peninsula, said all the pipeline valves were promptly sealed off to control the fire that followed Thursday’s blast.
Authorities were still investigating the cause of the explosion, Shousha said.
The Islamic State group posted a statement on its website claiming responsibility for the attack. It said IS militants detonated several explosive devices to damage a pipeline that carries natural gas from Egypt to Israel. The group offered no proof for its claim.
Egypt has for years been battling an insurgency in northern Sinai that’s now led by an IS affiliate. Fighting intensified in 2013 after the military overthrew the country’s elected but divisive Islamist president.
Authorities heavily restrict access to the northern Sinai, making it difficult to verify claims related to the fighting.
IS has carried out a number of large-scale attacks in recent years, mainly targeting security forces and Egypt’s Christian minority.