Egypt military bolsters Suez Canal security after failed attack

9/1/2013
BLOOMBERG NEWS
APTOPIX-Mideast-Egypt-50

Several protesters set fire to tires on the city's dock in an attempt to prevent ships from coming in to the strategic city of Port Said at the Mediterranean end of the Suez Canal, in Egypt, Saturday, March 9, 2013. An Egyptian court on Saturday confirmed the death sentences against 21 people for taking part in a deadly 2012 soccer riot but acquitted seven police officials for their alleged role in a trial that has been the source of some of the worst unrest to hit Egypt in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Ahmed Ramadan)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Egyptian military ordered an increase in security along the Suez Canal after foiling an attack on a passing ship yesterday, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

The failed attack on the Panama-registered Cosco Asia as it crossed the waterway didn’t result in any damage to the ship or its cargo, the news agency reported, citing Suez Canal Authority head Mohab Mamish. The military dealt “decisively” with the attempt, he said. Traffic in the Suez Canal is normal and 55 ships are expected to cross today, Mamish said, according to the news agency.

Egypt is struggling to contain a surge in militant attacks, mostly in Sinai, after the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3.

The Suez Canal and SUMED pipeline, as the link between Egypt’s ports of Ain Sukhna on the Red Sea and Sidi Kerir on the Mediterranean is known, together handled 3.8 million barrels a day of crude and products, according to 2011 data cited by the International Energy Agency. Most of that traffic was northbound.