By Yusri Mohamed /Reuters
ISMAILIA: Egypt has detained two men as it investigates allegations that they plotted to attack a foreign ship as it passed through the Suez Canal, the state news agency MENA reported on Wednesday, citing a security source.
A resident of the canal-side city of Ismailia, whose name was given as Soliman Abdel Razek, had planned to carry out the attack from land alongside the waterway, with the help of a colleague, Salama Ahmed, the source was quote as saying.
A security source told Reuters both men denied the accusation, which was based on the account of a third suspect whom the authorities had detained and later released. The two suspects, aged 25 and 27, were arrested last week and will be detained for 15 days.
The source, who asked not to be named, said security forces had searched property belonging to the suspects but had not found any explosives, notes or drawings related to the navigational path of the canal. The suspects said they had spoken of an attack, but only in jest.
There was no evidence the suspects had any links to foreigners, the source added.
Sources at the Suez Canal Authority said there were no threats to navigation through the waterway, but that it was tightening security as a precaution. The source said the canal’s security system was difficult to penetrate.
Nearly 10 percent of world seaborne trade passes through the 192-km (120-mile) canal, which is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe.