August 15, 2005

Small blast near multinational force vehicle-Egypt

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's Interior Ministry said a small
blast occurred on the side of a road in Sinai on Monday as a
vehicle belonging to the Multinational Force and Observers
(MFO) passed by, but no one was killed.

An Egyptian security source said the blast was caused by a
land mine left over in the area from wars between Israel and
Egypt. The MFO was set up to supervise security provisions in
the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

MFO official Ian Baxendell told Reuters an MFO vehicle was
damaged in north Sinai but said no one was hurt.

"An MFO vehicle was damaged. The two occupants of the
vehicle are unharmed and uninjured," he said without saying
what caused the damage and without giving details of those

Baxendell initially said there was no explosion, but later
said he was still waiting for details of the incident from the
investigation that was underway.

"A limited explosion occurred on the right side of a branch
desert road while one of the MFO vehicles passed in the area of
El Gorah in Sinai, about 1 km outside their camp," an Interior
Ministry statement said, adding that no one was killed.

A security source had earlier said a small bus had exploded
in an airport used by the MFO at El Gorah.

The North Camp at El Gorah, which is about 20 km (13 miles)
south of Sinai's Mediterranean coast, is the MFO's largest
installation and site of the force commander's headquarters,
the MFO's Web site said.

The 11 countries sending contingents to the MFO are
Australia, Colombia, France, Italy, Norway, the United States,
Canada, Fiji, Hungary, New Zealand and Uruguay, the Web site

Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, the first
Arab country to make peace with the Jewish state after fighting
several wars in the Sinai Peninsula.