Egyptian authorities have apprehended 13 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood suspected of planting bombs around the country’s major waterway, the Suez Canal, Reuters reports.
The bombing move was aimed at truncating maritime activities at the canal, which is estimated to be handling around 10% of all global maritime trade, or 18,000 ships per year.
The group, which includes an employee of the Suez Canal Authority, will be detained for 15 days in line with the prosecutors’ order. They are believed to have planted bombs around the canal’s sanitation areas and surrounding beaches.
The Egyptian government has outlawed the Brotherhood, which it regards as a terrorist group, not much different from the Islamic State.
The plotting of the suspected attack comes as Egypt gets set for the official inauguration of the New Suez Canal set for August 6th.
The canal is undergoing a major renovation aimed at attracting more traffic to the route.
A total of 242.1 million cubic meters of water-saturated sand or 93 percent of the targeted 258 million cubic meters that should be dredged, have so far been lifted at the New Suez Canal project, according to the latest update.
The expansion project will pave the way for transit of ships of up to 20 meters in draft, increasing Egypt’s maritime revenue by billions of dollars.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.