Terror attack in Suez Canal foiled by Egypt`s forces
Egyptian security forces have foiled a "terrorist" attack against a container ship in the Suez Canal as it was targeted in an attempt to disrupt traffic through the busy strategic waterway, officials said today.
Cairo: Egyptian security forces have foiled a "terrorist" attack against a container ship in the Suez Canal as it was targeted in an attempt to disrupt traffic through the busy strategic waterway, officials said today.
Canal authority head Mohab Mamish said a "terrorist element" targeted a Panama-flagged vessel yesterday, but it was undamaged.
There were reports of two blasts, but details of the attack are unclear, BBC reported.
Egypt`s Sinai has been hit by a wave of violence since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power by the army on July 3.
The reports said there were two explosions late last night as the ship, Cosco Asia, passed through the waterway.
"The situation was dealt with strictly by the armed forces," Mamish said in a statement.
The Suez Canal, between Port Said and Suez, is one of the most important waterways in the world. It is a vital global trade route between the Red Sea and Mediterranean.
The canal is extensively used by modern ships , as it is the fastest crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Tolls paid by the vessels represent an important source of income for the Egyptian government.
It is unknown whether the attack was linked to the continuing protests by Muslim Brotherhood supporters against the ousting of President Morsi.
Hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters have been killed in a recent military crackdown and a further eight people were killed in clashes on Friday between opponents and supporters of the deposed president.
The unrest has spilled over into the Sinai peninsula, where Islamist militants have carried out frequent attacks on the authorities.
Al Qaeda is suspected of being behind the attack.