Egypt transport minister Okays resumption of Suez-Ismailia train following arrests

Ahram Online , Friday 25 Dec 2015

Seven people have been charged for damaging the train and injuring a number of citizens

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

Egypt's transport minister Saad El-Geyoushy has decided to resume operation on Saturday of the Suez-Ismailia train, which he halted earlier this week due to damage caused by rioters, a ministry spokesman said.

The minister's decision on Friday came after assertions that "the state will bring the perpetrators to justice," ensuring that the perpetrators will cover the cost of the damage, the ministry's spokesman Ahmed Ibrahim said.

The minister added that "the state's coffer should not bear the cost of vandalism, but those who committed it should."

On Thursday, prosecutors in Egypt's Suez ordered the four-day detention of seven people for damaging a train’s windows and doors while traveling on the railway.

The damages, which reportedly amount to LE31,000 or $4,000, prompted the transport minister to suspend operations on the railway.

State news agency MENA said the defendants face charges of smashing the train's windows and doors and "injuring a number of citizens."

The accused will be detained for four days pending probe.

The incident occurred on Monday when a brawl erupted between a number of passengers and a group of students who allegedly harassed a woman.

The harassers reportedly left and returned later with a larger group. They then fought with the passengers, injuring two.

El-Geyoushy said on Thursday that he would continue to halt the train until the accused or their families pay for the damages incurred.

The minister initially threatened on Tuesday to not only suspend the 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.”

The security of Egypt’s railway system falls under the authority of railway police.

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