Egypt's security at highest level ahead of New Suez Canal opening

Ahram Online , Monday 3 Aug 2015

The official opening of the new 72-kilometre shipping lane is scheduled for 6 August in a ceremony expected to be attended by world leaders

A number of troops set to be deployed within the security plan during this week's inauguration of the New Suez Canal opening (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The opening ceremony of the New Suez Canal, which will take place in less than 72 hours, will be secured by more than 10,000 police personnel assigned by the interior ministry, reported state news agency MENA on Monday.

The interior ministry's security plan, parts of which were implemented in July, includes evaluating the security situation in Suez, Ismailia, and Port Said, the three governorates closest to the canal.

Security personnel will coordinate with the military forces surrounding all vital facilities in Egypt, including police stations, security directorates, the Shura Council (upper body of the parliament) building, the cabinet, the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC), the central bank, power plants, and other facilities. 

Special armed personnel will surround these facilities as part of security measures that the interior ministry began implementing on 1 August, according to MENA, which spoke to officials from the ministry.

The officials stated that about 10,000 police personnel from the civil protection department will participate in these security measures. They will include officers from divisions such as special operations, traffic planning, and central security forces. 

The second security provision will be implemented in six governorates: Ismailia, Port Said, Suez, Sharqiya, Qalyubia, and Cairo. The plan includes these governorates as delegations attending the opening ceremony are expected to pass by them on their way to the Ismailia governorate where the celebration will be taking place.

Speaking about the security plan of the celebration itself, officials reported that there will be increased police and military presence surrounding the sites of the opening ceremony.

The forces will also work on securing the international and the national delegations that are expected to attend the inauguration.

Delegations and heads of states from all over the world are expected to arrive in Egypt by August 6, following invitations to attend the opening ceremony announced in July by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Egypt has seen several bombings of civilian areas in recent months, while attacks targeting police and army personnel and facilities have been more recurrent over the past two years following the ouster of Islamist president Moahmed Morsi.

Forces have also been battling an Islamist insurgency in the restive Sinai Peninsula and killing militants almost on a daily basis, according to reports by Egypt’s military spokesperson.

The armed forces have also been losing troops regurarly as a result of militant attacks.

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