For the third time in less than six months, terrorists blew up a pipeline in the Egyptian Sinai early Monday that carries natural gas to Jordan and Israel.
The first attack took place on February 5 and the second on April 27.
Just three weeks ago, Gasco, a subsidiary of Egypt's EGAS, resumed gas shipments to Israel and Jordan, following a three-month hiatus to repair the pipeline.
Gasco officials again shut off the main source of gas to prevent the fire from spreading.
Eyewitnesses said the men -- armed with automatic rifles -- arrived at dawn in two small pickup trucks.
After forcing the plant's three security guards to leave, they set off an explosion that sent flames 65 feet in the air and could be seen more than nine miles away. It took nearly seven hours to get the flames under control, The Associated Press reported.
Area residents were reportedly alarmed by the massive explosion.
The latest attack took place at the Bir al-Abd facility in the northern Sinai, less than 40 miles from the Suez Canal and about 30 miles west of the border with Israel.