Suez Canal on high alert after failed terrorist attack

Suez Canal on high alert after failed terrorist attack

A freighter passes through the Suez Canal (file photo: AFP)

After a failed “terrorist attempt” on a ship flying the Panamanian flag on Saturday, the army has put the Suez Canal under heightened security.
(AFP File Photo)

After a failed “terrorist attempt” on a ship flying the Panamanian flag on Saturday, the army has put the Suez Canal under heightened security.

According to a press release by the Suez Canal Authority, the container ship Cosco Asia was the target of a failed attack, intended to disrupt canal traffic, at 2:30pm on Saturday afternoon.

Shot were fired at the Cosco Asia from the shore, said Suez Canal Authority spokesman Tarek Hussanien.  He declined to identify the weapon used to fire at the ship.

“The attempt failed completely and there was no damage to the ship or the containers it carried. The situation was dealt with strictly by the armed forces,” said the press statement.

Military security is on its highest alert on the Suez Canal after the failed attack, said Hussanien.

According to AFP, the canal saw the passage of 45 vessels on Saturday, the usual number.  Fifty-five ships were expected on Sunday.

The Suez Canal was first opened for navigation on 17 November 1869.  The canal was nationalised in 1956 under President Abdel Nasser.  The Suez Canal made the news recently when member s of the Tamarod campaign urged authorities to close the canal to ships carrying weapons to support a US strike in Syria.

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