Security officials in Egypt say suspected Islamic militants have blown up a natural gas pipeline outside el-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai.

The officials say authorities stopped the flow of the gas to extinguish the fire after the blast, which happened early Sunday morning.

No group immediately claimed the attack. However, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or "Champions of Jerusalem," a jihadi group based in the Sinai Peninsula, has claimed responsibility for more than a dozen similar bombings and attacks on security forces. It pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group late last year.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to speak to journalists.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said the pipeline supplies natural gas to a power station and homes in el-Arish.