Middle East

New police force tasked with protecting Suez Canal

Cairo: Egypt is setting up a new police force specifically tasked with protecting the Suez Canal, following continued threats to the vital waterway in the past 18 months. An Egyptian navy patrol boat was ambushed on the canal recently, while the giant Cosco Asia containership had an RPG fired at it last year.

With the Sinai peninsula in particular unstable as a result of encroaching Al Qaeda linked groups, Cairo is determined to protect the waterway, its main source of revenue now that tourism numbers have plummeted. Construction of a second 76 km long waterway parallel to the existing canal is expected to be finished this August.

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