Tag Archives: Canal Zone

Update on the Suez Canal, Egypt

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In continuing efforts to maintain the protection of the Suez Canal Zone, Egyptian authorities issued unprecedented increases to security. Egyptian armed forces have erected checkpoint every 20 kilometres, and have deployed army helicopters to monitor the Canal Zone. In addition, there are increased mobile security patrols, and the military has installed more security cameras in and around the waterway. The government has also been working with local tribes in the Sinai Peninsula to ensure cooperation in the region’s security.

Analysts surmise that hitting and sinking a vessel in the Canal Zone would be extremely difficult; such an endeavour would require a suicide boat attack, floating mines, or missiles. While the former two options would be almost inconceivable to get through Suez security, the option that remains is to build a small battery in a deserted area, capable of delivering a missile to attack a ship. However, the development of such a system would likely be detected by electronic or satellite surveillance, or one of the many military battalions stationed in the Suez region.

Experts have ensured that Egyptian authorities were fully capable of securing the Suez Canal and preventing potential terrorist attacks, however there is the possibility of “minor” limited attacks in the near future. Military expert Ahmed Ragae said, “I expect to see limited and ineffective attacks that aim only to raise doubts about the canal among western countries.”

Western countries are already keeping a close eye on the turmoil in Egypt. Earlier today in Nile Valley Egypt, a car bomb targeted the convoy of Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim in a suspected assassination attempt. The bomb did not harm Ibrahim; however, as many as 10 people have been injured in the blast. The bombing occurred in Nasr City near the home of the Minister, and in a stronghold region of the Muslim Brotherhood. No party has claimed responsibility for the attack. Egyptian police have reportedly killed two of the attackers.

Ibrahim is the head of the country’s police force, which worked with other security forces to clear out two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps last month, resulting in a deadly crackdown that left hundreds dead and thousands injured. The protesters are seeking the return of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from office on 3 July.


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Update on the Suez Canal

Posted on in Egypt title_rule

Following the failed attack on the Panama-flagged shipping vessel COSCO ASIA in the Suez Canal, Egyptian authorities have bolstered security along the waterway.

Suez Canal Authority Chairman Mohab Mamish said in a statement that the military dealt “decisively” with the 31 August attempt, but gave no further details. It is known that three gunmen were arrested for opening fire on the ship, and investigations are ongoing. Sources within the Suez Canal Authority indicated that a rocket-propelled grenade had been used in the attempt; there was no damage to the ship or its cargo. It is believed that the attack was most likely conducted by foreigners, or Egyptians working with foreigners, from bases in the North Sinai.

Egyptian authorities, meanwhile, have elevated security along the Canal Zone. Commander of the Third Field Army has announced that the waterway and the ships transiting the canal are completely secure.  While Egypt is under national curfew until 31 August, authorities stress that traffic through the Suez Canal remains unaffected. The Canal Zone is secured by the military, including land, sea and air patrols.

The Egyptian military and interim government are determined to keep traffic in the Suez flowing normally. Authorities have highlighted high-risk areas of threat to the canal and its land-based facilities, and are increasing security. But it is likely that such an incident could happen again. While there is intense security along the canal zone, residential areas could become trading areas for light weapons, free from the scrutiny of authorities.

Ships transiting the region are advised to pay attention to updates and recommendations from local authorities, and maintain a constant security watch.

The Joint War Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Lloyd’s and IUA company markets, are reviewing the situation to identify whether this attack is indicative of a trend, and whether it was carried out by individuals rather than a group. They have not placed Egypt or the Suez Canal on their list of high-risk areas.

Traffic is currently uninterrupted in the Canal.

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