Transport minister maintains suspension of Ismailia-Suez train route until ‘thugs' pay for damages

Ahram Online , Thursday 24 Dec 2015

The ministry says an attack by ‘thugs’ on a Suez railway train incurred $4,000 in damages

Saad al-Gioushy
Egypt's Minister of Transportation Saad al-Gioushy attends Egypt Mega Projects MEED Conference in Cairo, Egypt, December 8, 2015. (Reuters)

Egypt's transport ministry said it would continue to suspend a train route operating between two Suez Canal cities after "rioters" caused damages estimated at LE31,000 to the train.

A group of "rioting students" on Tuesday reportedly smashed the train’s doors and windows after departing the city of Suez.

It is unclear exactly how the damages were caused or what led to the reported riots.

The resulting damages prompted the ministry to halt the train route, which connects the port cities of Suez and Ismailia, northeast of Cairo.

A statement by the ministry on Thursday said the damages were estimated at LE31,000 (approximately $4,000).

"The minister insists on not operating the train unless the LE31,000 is collected from the saboteurs, or until prosecutors have their families pledge to bear the cost of repair," the ministry statement added.

On Tuesday, the minister had initially threatened not only to suspend the Suez- Ismailia route indefinitely but also to raise ticket prices in order fund the repair of the windows and to push the public to take a more proactive role in confronting “saboteurs.”

Seven individuals have been arrested and are being questioned over the damages.

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