Egypt on high security alert ahead of Suez Canal inauguration

Egyptian authorities have raised the alert level to the maximum across the North African country ahead of the opening of the expanded Suez Canal set for August 6.

Security checks of local residents and naval patrols have been going on, according to news agency reports, so as to forestall any security threats to the opening ceremony.

he heightened measures have been put in place following recent bomb planting around the country’s major waterway earlier this month and, more recently, an attack on a moored Egyptian coastguard vessel in the Mediterranean Sea.

As the Suez upgrade project nears completion, with nearly 97 per cent of dredging works finalized, preparations are under way to start with the trial operations in the expanded lane.

The trials are set to begin this Saturday, Head of Navigational Management at the Suez Canal Authority Mohamed Sakr, told local media, adding that different size ships will take part in the test operations.

Head of Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish said on Sunday that the new project is a fully integrated one fitted with navigational signs, maps, electronic navigation devices and highly-trained guides to secure ships crossing the canal.

He added that logistical and security preparations had been made for the inauguration of the New Suez Canal project.

Once the two-way highway is completed, Egypt projects that up to 20,000 ships will use the route on a yearly basis, increasing the revenue of the canal to up to USD 17 billion a year.

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