By ASHRAF SWEILAM
EL ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian security officials say suspected Islamic State militants blew up a natural gas pipeline Saturday in Egypt’s restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, causing a fire but no casualties. They say the suspected militants planted explosives under a pipeline in the town of Bir al-Abd. Eyewitnesses say the expulsion sent thick flames of fire shooting into the sky, and authorities stopped the flow of gas to extinguish the fire. No group immediately claimed the attack. The Islamic State group affiliate, which is centered in Northern Sinai, however, has claimed previous attacks targeting gas pipelines between Egypt and both Jordan and Israel. Egypt is battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in northern Sinai.